Bullhead City Couple Pleads Not Guilty to Murdering and Sexually Assaulting Their 6-Week-Old Son
A Bullhead City couple accused of "brutally" sexually assaulting and murdering their six-week-old baby pleaded not guilty to murder, and several other charges related to the boy's death, yesterday.
Staci Lynn Barbosa, 19, and Jonathan Edward Vandergriff, 23, appeared in Mohave County Superior Court yesterday where they each pleaded not guilty to murder, child abuse by domestic violence, sexual assault of a minor under the age of 15, and sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 15.
Bullhead City police spokeswoman Emily Montague told New Times earlier this month that police believe the baby was "raped" by Barbosa and Vandergriff, which contributed to the baby's death.
Montague -- for good reason -- wouldn't go into detail about the sexual attack but says authorities believe both Barbosa and Vandergriff were involved in raping their six-week-old son.
According to police, at 11:20 a.m. on June 15, police were called to Western Arizona Regional
Medical Center's Emergency Room where a baby was "fighting for his life."
Police say they saw bruises and sores all over the baby's body and his eyes were red and swollen shut.
Doctors then told police the baby had several broken ribs, a broken femur, was malnourished, dehydrated, and showed signs of sexual abuse and shaken baby syndrome.
The baby was airlifted to Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas -- the closest hospital with a trauma center, according to Montague -- and Barbosa, who brought the six-week-old to the hospital, was immediately taken into custody.
Doctors were not able to save the baby and he died early the next morning.
Vandergriff turned himself into authorities the same day and police served a search warrant at the house where the couple had been living, which turned up marijuana and other items of "evidentiary value."
The couple's next court date is scheduled for July 23. If convicted, the two defendants each face the death penalty.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.