A Powell resident is facing first-degree murder charges related to the death of his four-month-old infant.
Jason Getzfreid, 27, is facing the possibility of life in prison and the death penalty if found guilty.
According to the Park County Sheriff’s Office affidavit, the baby girl known as “R.G.” was brought to Powell Valley Healthcare on Aug. 22 and was being treated for “non-accidental trauma.” A Connecticut doctor consulted on the case determined from x-rays the injuries were “typical of non-accidental injuries over a period of time.”
Getzfreid told Deputy Chris Ivanoff the baby had rolled off the couch onto a hard floor and hit her head. He said she was “limp” and exhaling but not inhaling when he picked her up. Investigators determined the couch to be 15-16 inches off the ground.
“RG’s injuries did not appear to be consistent with the account that Jason Getzfreid gave of what happened to her,” Deputy Jed Ehlers wrote in the affidavit.
Getzfreid took the child to the hospital at 6:20 a.m. that morning.
It was determined the mother of the child was at work when the injury occurred. She told investigators she woke up at 4 a.m. to care for the girl who was being “fussy and crying.” The mother went to work at 5:40 a.m. and received a call from Getzfreid when he took their daughter to the hospital. A witness told authorities she left her work in a panic and went to the hospital.
Getzfreid refused multiple requests by Ehlers to talk, after initially giving Ivanoff an account of what happened.
When PVHC staff couldn’t determine any obvious external injuries, the infant was transported by air to a hospital in Salt Lake City. After surgery there on the afternoon of Aug. 22, it was determined the infant had no corneal reflex, was generally non-responsive, needed assistance to breathe and was not responding to pain. The child’s injuries were determined not consistent with any fall or “explained by benign events or reasonable discipline.”
“These findings are consistent with inflicted injury and child physical abuse,” Ehlers said in the affidavit.
A doctor at the hospital determined the child’s injuries were consistent with some form of shaking.
According to a nurse Getzfreid spoke to at the hospital, he told her “sometimes you just get frustrated you know and you try not to” and then raised his hands to demonstrate holding an object, and then shook his hands.
On Aug. 27 the infant passed away.
On Sept. 8 Ehlers gave Getzfreid one last chance to talk and when he became “uncooperative and evasive,” deputies placed him under arrest.
He is in custody at the Park County Detention Center.
“I understand the severeness of what’s being said, but is there any way I could please get out and be with my wife?” Getzfreid asked Circuit Court Judge Waters. “It’s already tough enough. I understand the severity of this whole thing, I just really want to be out with my wife in this time.”
Waters set his bond at $1 million after his initial hearing on Friday. If he were able to post bond, he is not to be in the presence of a minor child without the presence of another adult.
“Under the circumstances the bond, the recommendation of the state, seem to be appropriate,” Waters said. “This involves the death of a small child. The $1 million, I think that seems to be appropriate under the circumstances.”
Waters said because of the seriousness of the charges, Getzfreid may have “a temptation to disappear.”
He is scheduled for a 10 a.m. Friday preliminary hearing in Circuit Court.
Getzfreid is a registered sex offender. He was convicted for second degree sexual abuse of a minor younger than 13 years old in 2012. In 2013 he was found guilty for failing to register as a sex offender. Charges were filed against him in September 2020 for third degree sexual abuse of a minor younger than 17 years old.
This is the second time in six months that a Park County resident has been charged with first degree murder of a small child. In March, Moshe Williams and Carolyn Aune were charged with first degree murder for the death of Williams’ 2-year-old child. The two are still in custody at the Park County Detention Center.