Murder and child-abuse charges have been filed against a West Valley City man for allegedly killing his girlfriend in front of her 5-year-old son.
Darren Fitzgerald Byrd, 50, has been charged in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; commission of domestic violence in front of a child, a third-degree felony; and possession of a weapon by a restricted person, a class A misdemeanor.
On Feb. 9, a 12-year-old neighbor called police to report a woman covered in blood on the floor of a trailer home at 3292 W. Chester Park Drive. When officers arrived, they found Belinda Thomas, who had suffered “what appeared to be stab wounds on [her] chest and neck,” court documents said. A “bloody knife” was found on the kitchen table.
An autopsy determined that Thomas died from “multiple stab wounds.”
According to a probable cause statement, the 12-year-old told police he went to Thomas’ home that day and, when he invited Byrd to a birthday party, the man “replied that he had been in a fight with Belinda and the police were coming.”
The neighbor returned later, and when he knocked on the door, Thomas' 5-year-old son answered. The 12-year-old asked the younger boy if his mother was home, and the 5-year-old replied, “Yes, I think she is dead.” He later told police that Byrd “climbed on his mom, poked his mom with a knife and killed his mom.”
He also told police Byrd “chased him around the house with the knife and that he was going to kill him.”
The 12-year-old took Thomas' son to his home and called police; the 5-year-old was taken into protective custody.
Byrd’s former employer said that he had a phone conversation with the suspect that day and that Byrd “said he had a fight with his girlfriend and his [former employer] should take him to jail.” When Byrd was apprehended that evening, “officers observed blood on his right hand, clothing and head.”