Mom, Boyfriend Charged With 2-Year-Old Delaware County Boy's Beating & Murder

A Delaware County, Pennsylvania mother and her boyfriend have been charged with the murder of a 2-year-old toddler who suffered more than 120 bruises from beatings before being found unresponsive face down in a bathtub, prosecutors said.

Shannon Matthews, 30, and 31-year-old Daniel Grafton were charged Friday with third-degree murder, aggravated assault and related offenses in the February 3 death of the woman's son, Mason Hunt.

"Satan is living inside of them," said Carol Patterson, Mason's aunt. "They are not people, they are not human beings, they are animals."

Grafton, who was babysitting, brought the boy into a doctor's office below their Norwood apartment, where Matthews worked, that afternoon saying he was not breathing, according to prosecutors. The boy had a number of bruises on his head and upper body, prosecutors said. A doctor performed CPR until paramedics arrived to take him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy performed last week found — in addition to the bruises to his head and upper abdomen — that Hunt had dozens of pinch marks all over his body, a liver laceration and bruises to his genitals, prosecutors said. Based on the findings, Delaware County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Fredric Hellman ruled the boy's death a homicide.

"To be able to do this to a 2-year-old, I don't care how bad a 2-year-old was, [he] does not deserve to be murdered," Patterson said.

Children and Youth Services had been monitoring the family following a January 5 domestic dispute where Hunt had his head and eyes doused with seasoning salt, prosecutors said.

Matthews and Grafton were arraigned Friday and are being held without bail. Grafton was previously charged with reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child following the boy's death. Attorneys for both accused were not immediately available for comment.

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