SOUTH JORDAN — An Orem man whose 6-week-old son died in 2019 in South Jordan is now facing a murder charge.
Mitchell Aaron Barrows, 23, of Orem, was charged Monday in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony.
Police were called to a South Jordan apartment on Oct. 5, 2019, and found Adrian Keith Barrows crying and having difficulty breathing, according to charging documents. The boy was taken to a local hospital where “it was discovered that (Adrian) had bleeding on the brain.”
The baby was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital where he died from his injuries two days later on Oct. 7.
When Adrian’s mother was interviewed by police, she said Mitchell Barrows was watching the infant in another room when she “all of the sudden heard Adrian screaming. It was like a very unusual scream for him. It sounded different than any other cry I had heard from him. He has never been in pain from the water being too hot or anything like that. I have never heard a pain cry from him, and so it sounded like pain,” she told investigators, according to the charges.
When the mother went from the bedroom to the front room, she said saw Barrows picking Adrian up out of baby bouncer and believed Adrian was crying because of a messy diaper.
Later that evening, after the mother had gone to the gym, Barrows called her to say Adrian was “breathing weird” and said, “I need you to come home right now,” according to the charges. While Adrian’s mother was talking to her own mother on the phone about what to do, Adrian “let out a horrible screech” and then went unconscious while still exhibiting odd breathing, the charges state.
The mother later said doctors told her “that (Adrian’s) cause of death was not an accident, but it was child abuse,” the charges say.
By November, South Jordan police confirmed they were treating Adrian’s death as a homicide.
Doctors determined Adrian sustained “abusive head trauma involving severe and ultimately fatal injuries to the infant’s brain” that were not accidental or anything the infant could have done to himself, according to the charging documents.
An autopsy on Oct. 9, 2019, determined the cause of death to be “blunt force trauma to the head inflicted by another person,” the charges state.
An attorney for the mother told police that “from his experience, the infant sustained the injuries from a child bouncer. The attorney stated Mitchell got too rough and bounced the child too hard. The attorney suggested it wasn’t out of anger,” according to a search warrant served on Oct. 10, 2019.