Roy man charged with aggravated murder in newborn’s beating death

Matthew Daniel Graves. Photo: Weber County

ROY, Utah, Sept. 12, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A Roy man has been charged with aggravated murder in the death of a newborn.

Roy City Police officials declined to reveal the relationship between the suspect charged in the death of the 6-week-old boy, but did confirm that suspect Matthew Daniel Graves, 23, and the victim lived at the same residence, at 4447 S. 1950 West.

Graves has been charged with:

  • Aggravated murder, a first degree felony
  • Endangerment of a child, a third degree felony
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia in a drug-free zone, a Class A misdemeanor

According to a probable cause statement, officers were dispatched at 7:41 a.m. on Sept. 7 to the residence on the report of an infant who was not breathing. The baby was transported to Ogden Regional Hospital, then flown by medical helicopter to Primary Children’s Hospital, in Salt Lake City.

“The doctors at Primary’s informed law enforcement that the infant had sustained severe non-accidental trauma to include huge fractures to the right side of the head, massive brain swelling and hemorrhage, fixed and dilated pupils, tremendous soft tissue damage, separation of the vertebrae in the neck and loss of oxygen to the brain,” the probable cause statement says.

“The doctors described ‘profound brain trauma and right side fractures.’ The fractures were described as ‘huge’ and ‘broken’ with multiple pieces spreading apart. Subsequent scans indicate that the infant has no brain activity.”

Roy City Police Detective Josh Taylor confirmed on Tuesday that the baby died the next day, Sept. 8.

Taylor said that on the evening of Sept. 7, detectives interviewed Graves.

“Later in the evening, he did admit to striking the child multiple times in the head,” Taylor said.

The Sept. 8 probable cause statement says Graves was interviewed at the hospital, and ” … admitted that he had gotten angry because the infant was crying and had punched him repeatedly in the head,” the statement says. “Matthew stated that he could not remember how many times he hit the infant as he blacked out from rage. Matthew made comments that he is a monster, that he has lost all hope in life and is going to lose everything.”

Graves also admitted to drug use in the home where he was living with the infant and the baby’s 5-year-old sibling, who was interviewed at the Weber Morgan Children’s Justice Center, ” … and described seeing multiple instances where Matthew would spank the infant and also described instances of domestic violence in the home,” the probable cause statement says.

A search warrant served on the residence and on the vehicle Graves used turned up “… baggies with drug residue in the bedroom within reach of the children as well as a tinfoil pipe used to ingest controlled substances located on the floor of the vehicle right where the children were placed,” the statement said.

It also noted that Graves has a 2016 conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm and the fact that he is currently on probation. The statement recommended that Graves not be allowed out on bail. Information on the Weber County Sheriff’s website indicates no bail has been set.

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