Family of man charged with infant son’s homicide asks for justice, help funding burial

Devyion Johnson. Photo: GoFundMe page

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, July 17, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The family of a man accused of murdering his own infant son wants justice in the case, but they are also asking the public’s help in funding the baby’s burial.

“We all as a family our heartbroken that our grandson and nephew was taken away from us,” says a GoFundMe page indicating it was established to pay for the burial of Devyion Johnson, born Jan. 31 of this year and pronounced dead on Saturday, July 13, when he was removed from life support.

“He was only 5 1/2 months old,” the fundraising page says. “We are in such a desperate need to be able to lay him to rest. Also get justice for baby Devyion also he didn’t deserve to be hurt like this by his own father. Please anything anyone can help us so we can have a beautiful service for our baby.”

Devyion’s father, 23-year-old Shawn Malik Johnson, was booked into jail on Friday on suspicion of child abuse homicide, a first-degree felony; and obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony.

A probable cause statement says that West Valley City Police officers were dispatched to Johnson’s apartment, at 4002 S. Boulder Pines, on a report of an infant not breathing.

“The (infant) victim was taken up to Primary Children’s hospital and taken to the ICU,” the court document says. “It was found the victim had multiple injuries including bruising, brain hemorrhaging and the victim’s skull was fractured.”

Police questioned Shawn Johnson.

“The victim’s father was brought in and, post Miranda, admitted to throwing a metal bottle at the victim’s head, striking the victim with a closed fist in the back of the victim’s head and dropping the baby from a swing set approximately 15 feet on a concrete curbing.

“The victim was later declared deceased at the hospital.”

Prior to admitting to the deadly abuse, Johnson told officers that “he believed that his autistic brother had been the one to injure the victim.”

Johnson “later admitted to lying and blaming his brother because he did not want to go to jail,” the probable cause statement says.

Johnson’s bail was set at $100,000.

Shawn M. Johnson. Images: Salt Lake County; Google Maps

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