Mariposa father charged with murder in death of his 22-month-old son

Jesse Ashton mugshot

Jesse Ashton

MARIPOSA COUNTY, California (KSEE/KGPE) – Nearly 20 months after a toddler died in Mariposa County, his father was charged with murder, the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

After a lengthy investigation, Jesse Ashton was arrested Friday on murder charges in the death of his 22-month-old son, Bradley Reynolds, back on April 15, 2018.

Ashton was originally arrested on April 18, 2018 on charges of involuntary manslaughter following the death of Bradley. Ashton was able to bail out of the Mariposa County Jail.

Based on the evidence available at that time, no charges were filed by the District Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office said.

An autopsy and pathology report were not available for several months, the Sheriff’s Office said.

During that time, detectives, along with the District Attorney’s Office, continued to investigate and follow up on evidence.

In mid-November in 2019, the District Attorney’s Office met with the Detective Unit and reviewed the findings in the pathologist’s report and additional evidence obtained during the investigation.

The incontrovertible evidence shows that Jesse Ashton murdered his child. This came to light through the diligence of the Sheriff’s Office investigation and the evidence in the case including the forensic pathology, neuropathology reports and extensive medical reports.

District Attorney Walter Wall

On Dec. 2, an arrest warrant was issued for Ashton.

The Sheriff’s Office began searching for Ashton in Mariposa and Madera counties.

On Friday, almost 20 months since the death of Bradley, Ashton, 23, turned himself in and was booked into jail.

He was charged with murder and assault resulting in death.

Ashton is currently being held at the Sheriff’s Office Adult Detention Facility with a bail amount of $1 million.

“The death of such a young child is a tragedy. I very much appreciate the diligence of our deputies and detectives that have worked so hard on this investigation,” Sheriff Doug Binnewies said.

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