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Father charged with murder in death of infant son

Published: Thursday, Sept. 3 2015 11:48 p.m. MDT

Josh Petersen, 21, of American Fork, was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of aggravated murder in the shooting death of his 5-month-old son Friday, April 5, 2013. () Josh Petersen, 21, of American Fork, was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of aggravated murder in the shooting death of his 5-month-old son Friday, April 5, 2013. ()

AMERICAN FORK — A 21-year-old father accused of shooting his 5-month-old son in the head with a rifle has been officially charged.

Joshua David Petersen was charged with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, in Provo's 4th District Court on Friday.

Prosecutors say Petersen had been planning to shoot his son, Ryker, for about a month, and went through with it April 5 when he placed the infant on a couch and shot him with a .22 caliber rifle.

Police believe Petersen was then about to shoot himself when a family member stopped him.

On April 8, a judge ordered Petersen held without bail at the Utah County Jail while charges were pending.

Petersen's next scheduled court hearing is Monday.

Pat Reavy, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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