On January 18, 2013 in American Fork, Robbie Michael MacDonald inflicted severe head trauma and brain damage on his girlfriend's 10- month-old son while the girlfriend was at work and MacDonald was the caretaker of the child. MacDonald's initial story was that after the baby fell asleep on the carpeted floor, MacDonald carried him to his crib. MacDonald said that about 20-30 minutes later, he went to check on the boy and MacDonald found the baby non-responsive with spit-up on his face. After an ambulance transported the non-responsive infant to the American Fork Hospital, the baby was Life Flighted to Primary Children's Hospital where he was diagnosed with numerous injuries including bleeding in his brain, bruising of his head, and massive retinal hemorrhaging. The infant had to be resuscitated, was on a ventilator, suffered severe brain damage, and will have developmental problems and long-term disabilities for the rest of his life.
Days following the incident, when pressed by detectives to explain inconsistencies with his story compared to the injuries detailed by Primary Children's Hospital physicians, MacDonald added that when he took the baby to his crib, MacDonald tripped and dropped him, which may explain the injuries. Attending physicians said that the severity of the boy's injuries could not have been caused by even a 6-foot fall; only by either violently shaking the baby or by inflicting traumatic abuse to the baby's head along with suffocation.
Robbie MacDonald had a prior class A misdemeanor Child Abuse conviction from Layton, Utah in 2008.