Child murder is death penalty eligible for Roy man

Matthew Graves given death penalty attorney for defense

OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Matthew Graves knows he may be spending 25-years in prison. That's what the 22-year old Roy man allegedly told police after he was arrested for killing an infant in his care.

But the Weber County Attorney's Office has different plans, one that could put him to death if there's a conviction.

Graves was charged with aggravated murder which makes the case death penalty eligible.

"What makes it an aggravated murder is the fact that it was a child," said Letitia Toombs, deputy Weber County attorney.  "The victim is an infant 41 days old."

Graves was at home with the infant last week when paramedics were called after a  911-call.  They were told an infant wasn't breathing.  Paramedics revived the child but died later.

At the hospital, doctors told police about the possibility of a murder.  In court documents they found the infant had "huge fractures on the right side of the head, massive brain swelling and hemorrhage ... separation of the vertebra in the neck."

"Pretty brutal, but beyond that I'm not going to say anything," said Toombs following a court hearing for Graves Thursday.

Graves was assigned an attorney that specializes in death penalty cases.  But attorney Mike Bouwhius told the judge the family is considering a private attorney.  He asked for more time to discuss the case with the family.
In court documents, Graves told police he is "a monster that he has lost all hope in life and is going to lose everything."  Police said Graves made statements "about spending 25 years in prison" for what happened.

Graves also told police he became angry because the baby wouldn't stop crying and doesn't remember how many times he punched the baby because he blacked out. 

He remains in the Weber County jail where he is being held without bail."


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