NH father indicted by grand jury in death of his son, 7, found burned, beaten

The Hillsborough County grand jury's indictment revealed the abuse that Jaevion Riley is alleged to have undergone before his death


A grand jury has indicted the father of a 7-year-old boy who died after being found badly burned and beaten at an apartment in Manchester, New Hampshire, in January on several charges, including murder.

Murtadah Mohammad was charged last month with second-degree murder over the death of his 7-year-old son, Jaevion Riley. The 25-year-old was already in jail on child abuse charges.



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A Hillsborough County grand jury indicted Mohammad on a charge of "second-degree murder, for causing Jaevion’s death 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," according to Friday's announcement from the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office.

The indictment also charges Mohammad with first-degree assault for allegedly scalding Jaevion with hot liquid and a hot pan and second-degree assault for allegedly "whipping him with a cord and striking him in the face," officials said, as well as falsifying physical evidence involving his cellphone and the scene of an accident.

A man was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his 7-year-old son this January in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Mohammad is being held without bail. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney who could speak to the indictment.

Jaevion died on Jan. 17, when emergency crews responded to an apartment in Manchester for a report of a minor in distress and found the boy unconscious and suffering from severe burns. He was taken to a local hospital and transferred to a hospital in Boston, where he later died.

Mohammad was arrested immediately after the incident and charged with various offenses arising from the alleged abuse of his son, including 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.

According to court documents, Mohammad told first responders he had been in the shower when his son was hurt and did not see what happened. However, first responders noted there was no evidence to suggest that someone had just taken a shower, and there were other inconsistencies in his statement. He would later tell police, according to an affidavit for arrest filed in court, that he had used force and hot water as forms of discipline.

A boy hospitalized with terrible burns has died, and authorities are investigating as a case of child abuse.

The child's mother, Rainah Riley, told NBC10 Boston in January that her son was in a coma before he died and that the hospital described his injuries as "torture, mutilation and brutalization." She said Jaevion suffered skull and rib fractures, bleeding in the brain, lung injuries, severe burns and more.

"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," she said at the time.

Riley said Mohammad had gotten joint custody of Jaevion a few months before the incident. She said she tried reporting signs of abuse, like bruising, to the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families, but nothing was done.

"I called for wellness checks on him when he was with him, for the bruising, and nobody did anything," Riley said. "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?"

Asked about Riley's account, a DCYF representative has previously said the agency is required to protect the children and family's confidentiality under both state and federal law.

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