SURPRISE, Ariz. - Court documents are providing more details in the death of a one-year-old over the weekend in Surprise.
The victim, identified as a boy in court documents, was found unresponsive on the morning of Sept. 2, and was subsequently declared dead during the overnight hours of Sept. 3.
Here are the details in the case, according to investigators.
According to investigators, Surprise Police officers arrived at a home in a neighborhood near Cactus Road and Bullard Avenue on Sept. 2, in reference to a fire call for a child who is not breathing.
The victim, according to court documents, was found lying on the kitchen table when officers arrived. The suspect and his wife reportedly told officers on scene that they brought the child downstairs to start CPR.
"[The suspect] and his wife stated the victim sleeps in a crib, which they keep in their Master Bedroom. At approximately 3:00 a.m., they woke up to the victim wheezing and crying. They picked him up and held him to calm him down," read a portion of the court documents. "After a little time had passed, they brought him into bed with them to go back to sleep. At that time, the victim's breathing had returned to normal, and he was crawling around in the bed and lying on them."
Court documents state that the suspect and his wife fell asleep at around 4:00 a.m., and when they woke up around 8:00 a.m., they discovered that the victim was not breathing.
The victim, according to investigators, was taken to Thunderbird Hospital, and medical staff at the hospital told Surprise Police officers that the victim had traces of fentanyl in his system. The victim died at around 2:00 a.m. on Sept. 3.
The victim's mother, according to court documents, told investigators that Begay uses what he stated to be percocet.
"Percocet is a known common name for pills containing fentanyl on the street," read a portion of the court documents.
Investigators also stated that the victim's mother, who is nine months pregnant with another child, has denied any drug use of any kind.
Who's the suspect?
The suspect was identified in court documents as 37-year-old Roderick Begay, whose wife is the victim's mother. Court documents did not explicitly state whether Begay is the victim's biological father.
Begay, according to court documents, is a known fentanyl user, and when police executed a search warrant on his car and home, officials state that they found the following:
- A jewelry box containing small blue pills in an office on the second floor of the home
- Broken glass pipe with burnt black marks in the home's front yard
- Glass pope with burnt black marks in a box located inside the master bathroom's medicine cabinet
- Five small blue pills, a baggie with a smashed blue pill, "apparent methamphetamine," and a firearm inside a pickup truck
In an interview that was conducted after Begay was read his Miranda rights, investigators said that Begay admitted that the blue pills found in the jewelry box inside his home were his, and that the pills were fentanyl. He also admitted to using fentanyl consistently for chronic back pain.
"[Begay] mentioned that he thought to throw it away, but decided to keep them in case he needed them, and left them out on the desk," read a portion of the court documents, referring to a box in his office that contained multiple fentanyl pills. "The location the pills were located was within reaching distance of the child."
Investigators allege that Begay buys the fentanyl illegally.
Court documents also states the suspect has had several incidents of failing to appear in court.
What is the suspect accused of?
According to court documents, Begay is accused of the following felony offenses:
- Child Abuse - Criminal Negligence (A.R.S. 13-3623A3)
- Endangerment (A.R.S. 13-1201A)
- Weapons Possession by a Prohibited Person (A.R.S. 13-3102A4)
- Reckless Manslaughter (A.R.S. 13-1103A1)`
A $150,000 secured appearance bond has been set for Begay, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 12. Should Begay make bail, he will be required to subject himself to electronic monitoring.