Murder Charges Still Stand for Riverton Man

 Victoria Fregoso Reports, vfregoso@k2tv.com

 A Riverton man appeared in court today for his preliminary hearing on murder charges of a 7-month-old child.



 After testimony that lasted for over two hours in the preliminary hearing for 22-year-old Jonathan Marshall of Riverton, all 6 charges that Marshall faces were bound over to District Court by Judge Wesley Roberts.

Those counts are first and second degree murder, child abuse, manslaughter and misdemeanor counts of endangering children and use of a controlled substance.

He faces these charges for allegedly causing injuries to 7-month-old Eli C'Bearing who died as a result of blunt force and trauma. 

The Prosecuting Attorney Kathy Kavanagh called Detective Sergeant Julie Mathews with the Riverton Police Department to the stand, at which time she told the court room how the Pathologist examining the child believes the injuries are not consistent with the story Jonathan Marshall gave detectives.

Autopsy results shows the baby had a massive skull fracture that went from the back of his head to the temple, a rib fracture, signs of whiplash and bruising along the spine.

During an interview with Marshall, he told Riverton Police Department detectives the baby fell out of a bouncy chair and hit his head on the couch. A short while later he laid the baby down on a bed with a bottle. When he came back he found the baby was not breathing and shook him to revive him, then began to do CPR. In the process, he said the baby's head might of struck surroundings.

Defense lawyer David Hooper with Hooper Law Officers in Riverton called Jonathan's  20-year-old sister Sarah Marshall to the stand who was home at the time of the injuries but didn't witness them. She said she saw several people try to preform CPR on the child.

Hooper said that because the child's skull is still developing it is possible the skull fracture could of occurred when he fell out of the chair and the rib fracture might be from multiple people handling the baby and giving him CPR.

The prosecuting attorney says that because Jonathan Marshall's story is inconsistent with the baby's injuries, they believe he intentionally abused the child. In their case they also stated that some of his injuries are similar to those of shaken baby syndrome and his skull and rib fractures would require more force than the baby launching himself out of a bouncy chair.

His defense attorney says there is no evidence that Marshall abused baby Eli and there is there is no proof of the amount of force that it takes to give the injuries that baby had.