Gephardt Daily

Ogden man pleads guilty in death of infant daughter

Michael Lee Hatton. Photo: Weber County

OGDEN, Utah, Dec. 7, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — An Ogden man has pleaded guilty to causing the death of his 8-week-old daughter.

Michael Lee Hatton, 26, faces a sentence of 15 years to life in the Utah State Prison for the first-degree murder, along with a $10,000 fine.

On Oct. 2 of last year, Ogden City police and Emergency Medical personnel responded to a report of an infant who had stopped breathing. The baby’s mother and her roommate took the girl, named Avery, from the residence where the parents lived, on the 1400 block of Brinker Avenue, and drove south, in the direction of a hospital.

The women pulled over in the 2300 block of Harrison Boulevard to meet emergency personnel after discovering Avery seemed to have no pulse, according to a probable cause statement. Avery was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital, where she died.

“The investigation has determined Avery was physically abused which had lethal consequences,” the Ogden City Police statement said.

According to court documents, X-rays showed Avery had fractures to her skull, right collarbone, left arm and one rib. She also showed bruising to the neck and head.

Primary Children’s Hospital doctors told a detective the injuries were too severe to have been caused by an accidental fall.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide caused by blunt force trauma.

Investigators were told that about a week earlier, Hatton had been seated when he accidentally dropped Avery, and her head hit his knee and an ottoman before she fell face down on the floor.

Hatton told investigators that Avery stopped breathing the next day, so he sprayed cold water in her face until she began to breath. Hatton said the same thing happened on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2.

On Oct. 7, 2017, investigators interviewed Hatton again.

“Michael admitted he was the only one present when A.H. quit breathing and he contributed to her death,” the probable cause statement says.

Hatton’s sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 17 of next year.