A Utah man who was convicted of killing his newborn son will avoid the death penalty with a plea deal.
Matthew Daniel Graves, of Roy, Utah, took the plea deal in January and admitted that he punched his newborn son, killing him.
Graves apparently got angered after the baby woke him up from sleep with cries in 2017, according to the Standard-Examiner publication.
A Roy man accused of punching and killing an infant in 2017 has pleaded guilty to avoid a potential death sentence.
On Feb. 20, Graves, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated murder. Now, prosecutors will not seek the death penalty in the case, and they also dropped a misdemeanor drug charge and a felony charge of allowing a child to be exposed to a controlled substance, according to the report.
Prosecutors said he should get 25 years to life in prison, but the decision will be made by a judge during Graves’ sentencing.
He was arrested shortly after police were told that a 1-month-old child wasn’t breathing, and the child was taken to Ogden Regional Medical Center before it was taken by helicopter to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, according to the paper.
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.
Doctors later discovered the child had a number of injuries that were not accidental. They told police the baby had “profound brain trauma,” the report said.
The Deseret News, meanwhile, reported the baby suffered from skull fractures and separated vertebrae.
Deputy Weber County Attorney Letitia Toombs said last year that Graves woke up to the sound of the child in September 2017 and then attacked the child before placing a pacifier in its mouth to pacify it.
Graves later dropped off a 5-year-old living in the home to daycare and took the infant with him.
He noticed the infant wasn’t breathing and called his grandmother before calling 911.
Graves then told police that he punched the child because it was crying, according to officials. Graves said he “blacked out from rage” when the incident unfolded, police said.
“Matthew made comments that he is a monster, that he has lost all hope in life and is going to lose everything,” an affidavit said.
He is slated to appear in court on March 2 for sentencing.
Find Law says the death penalty is a “legal sentence for a number of crimes under Utah’s criminal statutes,” and the state has put more than 50 people to death over its history.
Utah is one of several states to use a firing squad during executions. Lethal injection is also offered, and, according to Find Law, if the person doesn’t select, they will get lethal injection by default.
Meanwhile, attorneys for death row inmate Michael Anthony Archuleta, who was found guilty in 1989 for killing a student, are trying to appeal his execution.
Archuleta, 55, is one of nine men on Utah’s death row, The Associated Press reported.
Archuleta’s attorney, Charlotte Merril, said her client’s previous counsel was “conflicted, underqualified and underfunded” and failed to see the “red flags” of Archuleta’s disability, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Lawyers with the state countered by arguing that Archuleta’s attorneys waited until the last moment to raise the concern in an effort to delay appeals that have stretched for decades.
Fox13 reported that Archuleta is slated to die via firing squad.
“He’s never presented any good evidence at all that he is intellectually disabled. But the second point, of course, is he withheld this for many years, even more than a decade as a tactical delay,” assistant Utah Attorney General Andrew Peterson told reporters last year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.