7-week-old boy's death ruled homicide; father charged with murder

HILLSBORO, Ore. - A 26-year-old Beaverton man appeared before a judge Friday and was charged with murdering his infant son.

The 7-week-old died after he was taken off of life support at a Portland hospital.

Robert Myers said the baby's death was an accident. First he told police he was sleeping with his son, Aden, and rolled over and onto the baby. He said he woke up to find the child wasn't breathing.

Tuesday, Dr. Christopher Young with the State Medical Examiner's office said Aden Myers died of asphyxia due to smothering and compression. Young ruled the death a homicide.

The case surfaced late Wednesday night when Beaverton police officers were called to the King's Court Apartment on Southwest Estuary Drive to a report of an infant not breathing. Myers was home with the baby and his girlfriend, the baby's mother, at the time.

Aden was rushed by ambulance to a local hospital and placed on life support. He was taken off life support Thursday evening, Beaverton police said.

Detectives interviewed Myers again that evening, and he made statements reportedly implicating himself in the death of his son, according to a news release.

Myers' father, Daniel, said he's still not sure what happened, and his son was hysterical when he spoke to him on the phone in jail after his arrest.

"This was hard, but he's taken responsibility for this," Daniel Myers said. "He's broken up. I didn't know what was going on with the phone system, but I finally was able to talk to him. He asked me to take care of his fiance. I said, 'You know we are doing that.' He was apologizing to me. And I said, 'You just lost your life.'"

He did not go into further detail about what he meant when he said his son said he's going to accept responsibility for the baby's death.

He said his son told him he didn't remember what happened and was tired and stressed at the time of the incident. But police said doctors found injuries on the baby's body, including a broken bone that didn't add up with Robert Myers' story.

"I can tell you from all indications the initial account does not hold water anymore. We do not believe that to be true," said Beaverton Police Chief Geoff Spalding.

Police arrested Myers at the hospital after that second interview just before doctors took the baby off life support. They did not reveal what Myers said during his second interview at the hospital.

The baby's mother declined to speak to KATU News. Police were at the Beaverton apartment Friday asking everyone to give her privacy to grieve.

A friend of Robert Myers of more than 10 years said this came as a shock to everyone. Police said Myers has no criminal record.