OGDEN — A judge reduced the bail for a 25-year-old man accused of killing his 8-week-old infant from $1 million to $200,000.
Judge Ernie Jones reduced the bal for Michael Lee Hatton on Wednesday, Nov. 2, after hearing arguments from attorneys.
Hatton is charged with one count of first-degree murder and has been held at the Weber County Jail since his arrest on Oct. 7.
Hatton told investigators he dropped the baby, but doctors with Primary Children’s Hospital said Avery Hatton’s “injuries were severe and could not have been the result of an accidental fall,” a probable cause statement filed in 2nd District Court.
An autopsy performed by the state medical examiner’s office determined the child’s cause of death was blunt force trauma, with the manner of death listed as homicide, the court document says.
Defense attorney Jonathan Hanks asked Jones on Wednesday to reduce the bail from $1 million to $25,000.
Hanks said Hatton has no previous criminal history and does not pose a danger to the public. He also said Hatton and his wife had moved to Utah from Delaware in July. They had left their extended family “for personal reasons” and do not have contact with them.
Deputy Weber County Attorney Teral Tree asked Jones to keep the bail set at $1 million because Hatton had very few ties to Utah, did not have a job and the crime itself was “heinous.”
Tree said the baby girl died not from one single episode but from multiple injuries inflicted from “three different episodes” with death caused by a final blow to her head.
“Anybody who commits these types of offenses to a two-month-old girl can kill others,” Tree said.
Tree said the $1 million bail insured that Hatton would be in court. Hanks argued that $1 million was set so Hatton could not make bail, which violated his Constitutional rights.
Jones reduced the bail, ordered Hatton to surrender his passport before he posts bail and to have no contact with children.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19.