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Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office

Utah father shattered infant son's skull, charges state

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Jul 19th, 2019 @ 10:15am



SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of killing his 5 1/2-month-old child has been charged with murder.

The charge was filed Friday in 3rd District Court. A charge of murder, a first-degree felony, means that prosecutors believe Shawn Malik Johnson, 23, of West Valley City, "intentionally or knowingly" caused the death of his child, charging documents state.

On July 12, West Valley police and fire crews were called to the Boulder Pines apartments, 4002 S. 1535 West, on a report that Deyvion Johnson was unresponsive, the charges state. Deyvion was taken to Primary Children's Hospital where doctors discovered a skull fracture on the back of his head and "a large area of intracranial blood and brain swelling," according to charging documents.

"Doctors reported that (Deyvion) appeared to have no brain function."

Doctors examined the boy's "collection of injuries" and determined they were "not consistent with any explanation provided by Johnson," the charges state. Deyvion was taken off life support on July 13.

Johnson gave police several "inconsistent explanations" about what happened, the charges state. At first, he told detectives the injuries were caused by Deyvion's 12-year-old autistic brother, according to court documents. Then he said Deyvion was on a swing and was squirming and slipped out of Johnson's hands and his head hit the concrete curb, according to the charges. A third explanation given by Johnson was that he threw a metal water bottle at his son, according to the charges.

Later, Johnson said he became frustrated when the toddler wouldn't stop crying after he fell from the swing "so he punched him in the head," the charges state.

An autopsy determined the cause of death to Deyvion was blunt force trauma to the head, according to charging documents, and that his skull was "shattered."

Prosecutors have requested Johnson be held in the Salt Lake County Jail on $1 million bail.

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