A New Hampshire man, who allegedly killed his 7-year-old son after beating and scorching him with hot water as a form of discipline, has been charged with murder, the state Attorney General’s Office announced on Monday.
According to NBC Boston, Murtadah Mohammad was arrested on January 17 after emergency crews went to a Manchester apartment after receiving a report of a minor in distress. The minor, later identified as Jaevion Riley, was found severely burned and assaulted. He later succumbed to his injuries after he was taken to a hospital.
Prosecutors alleged that Mohammad “caused the death of J.R., a person under 13 years of age, recklessly under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of his life, by subjecting him to abusive violence and not obtaining timely medical assistance for his injuries.”
The charges initially brought against the suspect for allegedly abusing his son included one count of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of falsifying physical evidence, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. It is, however, anticipated that the aforementioned charges will be dropped because the suspect now faces a second-degree murder charge.
In the wake of the incident, Mohammad initially told police he did not witness what occurred as he was in the shower at the time his son got injured. However, first responders established nothing showed someone had just used the shower, and his statement also had inconsistencies, per NBC Boston. An arrest affidavit, however, stated that the suspect ultimately informed police that he had disciplined his deceased son by using force and hot water.
In an interview with the news outlet, the deceased minor’s mother, Rainah Riley, said her son died after he went into a coma, adding that the hospital labeled the 7-year-old’s injuries as “torture, mutilation, and brutalization.” She said her son sustained several injuries including fractures to the skull and rib, bleeding in the brain, lung injuries, and severe burns.
“It is absolutely gruesome, it is horrific, and it is sickening to look at. It makes me physically ill looking at my own son because of what this man did to him,” Riley said.
Mohammad and Riley were reportedly sharing joint custody of their son prior to his killing. She said the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families failed to take action after she called for wellness checks on her son after noticing signs of abuse.
“I called for wellness checks on him when he was with him, for the bruising, and nobody did anything,” said Riley. “The system has failed not only my child, but so many children. And something needs to be done, because this isn’t OK. It’s not. Like, when is enough enough?”