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Santaquin Police Department

Santaquin father charged with abusing 4-week-old son

By Pat Reavy, KSL  |  Posted May 23rd, 2018 @ 12:31pm

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SANTAQUIN, Utah County — A Santaquin father was charged Tuesday with abusing his 4-week-old son after doctors discovered that the baby had allegedly suffered "severe head trauma and brain damage."

Gaven Mecham Beckstrom, 27, is charged in 4th District Court with child abuse, a second-degree felony.

Investigators say the abuse happened on March 20 while the boy's mother was napping.

Beckstrom originally told police that he believed his 3-year-old daughter attempted to pick up his son from a couch and accidentally dropped him on the tile floor, according to charging documents.

"That initial explanation did not account for the victim's life-threatening symptoms as discovered at Primary Children's (Hospital)," the charges state.

Doctors found fractures to the boy's ribs, femur, tibia, humerus and "recurrent seizures that (doctors) could not stop with medication for over 24 hours," according to the charges.

"As a result, he was diagnosed as being the victim of abusive head trauma. (Primary) doctors opined that this constellation of injuries could only have occurred as the result of intense holding, grabbing, yanking, squeezing, twisting, and/or shaking — something a 3-year-old sister would have been incapable of committing," the charges say.

When confronted with this information, Beckstrom told police he couldn't remember about two hours of what happened that night, "and he chalked that up to diabetes complications with low blood sugar that could have caused his lack of memory," investigators wrote in the court documents.

Later, he allegedly said he was "quicker and rougher" with his son while burping him.

"This caused the victim's head to whip back and forth at times, according to Beckstrom, in addition to squeezing the victim's chest hard enough to potentially break a rib," the charges state.

Bail was set at $7,500.


Pat Reavy, KSL
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