Thursday, 3 March 2011

SBS: Arizona: Jonathan Vandergriff

JIM SECKLER/The Daily News
 February 23, 2011
KINGMAN — A Superior Court judge set a hearing Tuesday to argue a motion whether the attorney for a Bullhead City murder suspect can physically be in contact with his client.
Court Commissioner Derek Carlisle originally scheduled the hearing for next Tuesday in the case of Jonathan Edward Vandergriff, 24, who is charged with first-degree 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 for the death of his infant son in June 2010.
Vandergriff’s attorney, Creighton Cornell, of Tucson, argued that it would be a large undertaking to interview numerous witnesses and asked to postpone Tuesday’s evidentiary hearing. He said that the sheriff’s office and the county attorney’s office have drawn a line in the sand to prohibit any contact between inmates and visitors. Cornell wants to visit with his client in person and said there may be volumes of paperwork that need to be passed to his client. Since the new Mohave County jail has been built, inmates only communicate with family members by video conferencing and with attorneys through a glass partition.
Before the hearing began, Cornell initially refused to move from the jury box with his client to the defense table because the defense table was too close to where the public sits. A three-foot high partition separates the public area from the tables where the attorneys and their clients sit. Cornell also said he will file a motion to move the trial to a larger courtroom.
Deputy Mohave County Attorney Lynnann Wilson, who is working with the sheriff’s office, said it was a simple issue of security and that the sheriff has the right to run the jail the way he sees fit. She also said there is no constitutional right for an attorney to physically touch their client. There is also a safety issue in the case that a defendant takes a pen or pencil left by an attorney and attempts to use it as a weapon.Carlisle said he did not see it as a major issue but granted up to $2,500 for Cornell to bring John Napper, of Prescott, to testify at the hearing. Napper has handled several capital murder cases, including Mohave County cases. The judge set the hearing for March 28 for Napper and Jail Commander Bruce Brown to testify.
Carlisle also denied a defense motion for a list of names of potential jurors. Cornell had concerns that Hispanic jurors would be underrepresented on a jury. The judge said one cannot tell by a name the ethnicity of a potential juror.
The judge also took under advisement a defense motion to clarify the allegation of the charge of child abuse. At issue was whether the infant suffered shaken baby syndrome or blunt force trauma to the head. Cornell questioned what the act of child abuse was.
Deputy Mohave County Attorney Greg McPhillips countered that Cornell’s motion did not have any facts and did not cite any case law.
“This motion is devoid of any legal authority,” McPhillips said.

Carlisle also took under advisement a state motion to release the infant’s body. Cornell opposed the motion, saying he still has not received all of the medical reports including an MRI. The judge previously denied another motion to allow Vandergriff to have contact with his young daughter. Cornell said he will file a motion to reconsider that ruling.
Vandergriff’s co-defendant, Staci Lynn Barbosa, 19, is also charged with first-degree 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.
Vandergriff faces the death penalty if convicted of the murder charge. McPhillips is not seeking the death penalty against Barbosa, the infant’s mother. The couple could also face life in prison with or without the chance of parole after 35 years if convicted of murder. Vandergriff is being held on $500,000 bond and Barbosa is being held on a $250,000 bond.
Barbosa was arrested June 15, 2010 after she took her badly injured son, Matthew, to the Western Arizona Regional Medical Center. Vandergriff turned himself in to police officers later that day. Matthew suffered from apparent bruises, broken ribs, broken femur, swollen and shut eyes and was malnourished and dehydrated. The infant allegedly showed signs of sexual abuse and shaken baby syndrome. Matthew was later taken to a Las Vegas hospital where he died the next morning.


  1. here's something for everyone to think about following...why is jonathan potentially recieveing a worse sentence than staci?? Jonathan worked for 14 hours a day and was hardly home so how could he be the only one to do something? it was told to me that jonathan and staci had a roomate...who was this person?? It states above that jonathan turned himself can he turn himself in when he was arrested after hearing that matthew was at the hospital? wouldn't he be at the hospital with his child? I also heard that the sexual abuse was BS too...i heard the med doctors that evaluated matthew did not give an accurate diagnosis of matthew just told some detective that he was abused sexually...something is amiss here and i hope more people look further into this case to see what's really going on here. we can't just judge a book by its cover you know...

    1. Who gives a fuck if they did it or not more than likely they did if they were arrested and there was stated evidence about it. Either way this innocent baby Matthew suffered beyond what anyone should have to and it makes it all the worse that he was a newborn who didn't even get a chance at life. The parents weren't doing there jobs as protecting their child who lost his life where they end up they belong.

  2. You don't have any idea what you are talking about. I was on the Grand Jury & I know for a fact that this poor baby was abused in every way possible by his parents. They didn't stop until he was dead. I think they are both guilty.

  3. Where there any pictures ever found of this sweet angel? <3

    Since a year ago not there's not a day that goes by that this angel doesn't go thru my mind.

    Death Penalty would be too kind to these idiots. And this guy was previously charged with molesting his daughter, the mom and her family about killed him. And then bragged about molesting his daughter with staci. Doubt the brutal sexual assault was bullshit. A family member told me, that his intestines were falling thru his rectum. It was beyond repairable. HE WAS A SWEET INNOCENT CHILD <3

    Forever in our hearts, matthew, and briana lopez.

  4. I think they both need to be strung up and skinned. Both. I am a bit pissed the mm is not being punished just as much as the father. Animals protect their young better then this woman did. here is a picture of the sweet baby. Look at that face and tell me his mother shouldnt have stopped this.. Idk bout anonymous up there sticking up for the father, but you need to have your head checked... Fact is this baby suffred and they both wer a part of it....only thing that matters...

  5. I read somewhere while researching... The brutal sex assault on sweet baby Matthew, by his OWN father... His "Sperm donor", only because I don't see how ANY father could do this to anyone let alone their own son.. Used his little legs as handle bars while he RAPED him.. Stick up for him, that makes you just as twisted!

  6. Kristen, you read that on PYSIH, but however we do NOT know if that is true. And I don't believe that they should be putting things they assume on their website. Autopsy NEVER reported 2 BROKEN legs! I am NOT sticking up for this "father". I use this term lightly VERY LIGHTLY. But the graphic detail they are trying to explain is uncalled for.

    YES, Jonathon worked 14 hour days. And Staci had people in and out, because she was selling drugs! But Jonathon admitted to his family, and detectives he did this! 2 months before this happened, he sent a song to one of his ex-highschool friends. Song states, "Tell me now , if this aint love then how do we get out. Thats when she said I don't hate you boy, I just want to say you while theres still something left to save". SOMETHING WAS GOING ON!

    2 weeks before the this homicide happened. The police raided their home.. and still left Matthew, and the 2 year old in custody of Staci.
    I hope those police officers are NOT sleeping well at night.

    The pain, and torture this baby had to go thru makes me angry. And like somer's mother said to the murderer ; You are a monster. No amount of time this judge sentences you for, will not be enough for me. In the afterlife you will have no peace, and may god have mercy on your sorry pathetic monster soul.


    xoxoxo, Julie

  7. staci and i used to be friends when i was 5 and she was 6. i know its been 3 years since this happened. i STILL cannot believe this!! my mom told me she heard from staci's dad that the poor baby was sodomized with a hot curling iron. i saw online that she was only given a 15 year sentence. it should be life without parole. i hope that for the whole 15 years she is kept in general population. i bet the rest of them can have real fun with her. she is NO kind of mother. even if it was just the dad doing the stuff to the kid, she still CHOSE not to report him and she CHOSE not to get that little boy away from that and to a hospital. ultimately, they are BOTH just as responsible as each other and they both deserve life without parole.