SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 25, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — New details have been released in the case against a 17-year-old boy charged with the murder of a toddler he was babysitting.
Isaiah Weaver will be tried as an adult after a “direct file” by the Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. Because the accused is 17, prosecutors have the power to move charges from juvenile to adult criminal court without seeking permission from a judge, Gill said.
Weaver is charged with:
- Criminal homicide, aggravated murder, a first-degree felony
- Two counts child abuse, a second-degree felony; one count for each of two children
Weaver is charged in the death of 21-month-old Jaycieion Sanchez.
According to a probable cause statement, Weaver was in a relationship of about eight months with Gena N. Sanchez, the mother of Jaycieion and his two siblings. Weaver had lived with Sanchez and her children in West Valley City for about a month at the time of Jaycieion’s death.
On Jan. 16, Sanchez was at work and Weaver was left in charge of her children. A probable cause statement says that officers were called to the residence at about 12:15 p.m. on a report of a toddler in “full arrest.”
Jaycieion, referred to in court papers as J.S., was transported to Primary Children’s Hospital, where a Dr. Robinson pronounced him dead at 1:19 p.m.
“Dr. Robinson noted that it was likely that J.S. had been deceased for some time before emergency personnel had arrived,” the statement says.
A first responder to the apartment, near 4600 South and 2900 West, said he arrived to find Jaycieion on his back on the bathroom floor, his body cold and covered with bruises, with visible trauma to his head.
Jaycieion also had bruises on his back consistent with being hit by a hard, thin object. Fresh blood droplets were located on the walls, pieces of furniture, and in the bedroom Weaver and Sanchez shared.
Jaycieion’s siblings, identified in court papers as a 5-year-old, and a 2-year-old, told a detective that Weaver recently had disciplined Jaycieion and another sibling by hitting them with a clothing hanger. One of the children told the detective Weaver used a lighter to heat the hanger first.
A child abuse specialist at Primary Children’s Hospital examined the 2-year-old, who had patterned bruises on his buttocks and upper thighs, and burns with a similar pattern that were partially healed. The doctor found the marks consistent with intentional trauma rather than an accident.
Sanchez told investigators she had seen Weaver spank Jaycieion on occasion, and once had witnessed the teen kick the toddler in the back. She also had observed marks made by a hanger, she said.
After being read his Miranda Rights, “Weaver admitted to hitting J.S. with a coat hanger and causing him to hit his head against the ceiling, wall and floor,” the probable cause statement says. “This occurred over a period of several days. Weaver also admitted to hitting J.S.’s older sibling with a coat hanger as well.”
Weaver also said that on Jan. 16, he had thrown Jaycieion in the air, hitting his head on the ceiling.
“Later that morning, J.S. was not breathing, and Weaver sat with J.S. and waited for Sanchez to call,” the statement says.
Weaver later admitted to police that he had thrown Jaycieion in the air several times in the days prior to the child’s death, and had hit the baby’s head on the ceiling or floor multiple times.
Preliminary results of an autopsy indicate the baby’s cause of death is blunt force injury, and his manner of death is homicide.