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Utah man admits to killing newborn son he had beaten for crying

By Annie Knox, KSL | Posted - Feb. 21, 2019 at 5:15 p.m.

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OGDEN — A Roy father has pleaded guilty in the beating death of his newborn son, part of an agreement with prosecutors that spares him a possible death sentence.

Investigators said Matthew Daniel Graves, 24, punched his month-old son Brayden repeatedly in September 2017 because the child was crying and it made him angry. Graves later told police he was a "monster" who waited to seek help for the infant even though he knew the child was having difficulty, according to prosecutors.

Graves admitted in January to aggravated murder, a first-degree felony and potential capital offense, court records show. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of at least 25 years and up to life in prison.

Two remaining charges were dropped in the deal. They include allowing a child to be exposed to controlled substances, a third-degree felony, and drug possession, a class A misdemeanor.

Graves was criminally charged a day after police responded to a Roy home on a report of an infant not breathing, court documents state. Doctors later determined the child had significant brain trauma, skull fractures and separated vertebrae.

Graves is scheduled to be sentenced on March 5.


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