NH man charged with murder in death of 7-year-old son, who was found unconscious and burned

Manchester officials said they found 7-year-old Jaevion Riley with "significant" burns on his face and body. He died a week later.

More on the case:

The father of a 7-year-old boy who died in January after being found unconscious and severely burned has now been charged with the child’s murder, New Hampshire officials announced Monday. 

Murtadah Mohammad is facing one count of second-degree murder in the death of his son, Jaevion Riley, Attorney General John M. Formella and Manchester Police Chief Allen D. Aldenberg said in a joint news release.

On Jan. 17, officers responded to a report of a young boy who was not conscious or breathing and had suffered “significant burns to his face and body,” Manchester police said in a statement at the time. 


Jaevion was taken to a hospital in Massachusetts for treatment, where he died one week later on Jan. 24, according to Formella and Aldenberg. 

“The hospital described his injuries as torture, mutilation and brutalization,” the boy’s mother, Rainah Riley, told NBC10 Boston at the time.

Citing court documents, the news outlet reported that some of Jaevion’s injuries were caused by immersion in scalding hot water. 

Mohammad, who was 25 at the time, was arrested in January and charged with first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of falsifying physical evidence, and endangering the welfare of a child. He remains jailed on those charges. 

Murtadah Mohammad, 25, was arrested after a 7-year-old boy was found unconscious and suffering from severe burns and other injuries. – Manchester NH Police Department

Formella and Aldenberg said Monday that they expect the previous charges will be dropped and that the AG’s office will prosecute the murder charge and any associated charges. Mohammad has been appointed a public defender.  

In announcing the upgraded charge, Formella and Aldenberg alleged that Mohammad caused 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 the New Hampshire Union Leader, Mohammad admitted to police that he hit, scalded, and whipped the boy with an electrical cord as discipline.


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