Ogden man sentenced to prison for killing 8-week-old daughter in 2016

Wednesday , January 17, 2018 - 6:44 PM

JACOB SCHOLL, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — An Ogden man who pleaded guilty to the 2016 killing of his 8-week-old daughter was sentenced Wednesday afternoon in 2nd District Court. 

Michael Lee Hatton, 26, was given the mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years to life in prison after pleading guilty in December to one charge of first-degree felony murder. 

Hatton appeared in court before Judge Ernie Jones and his attorney Randall Marshall. 

Before being sentenced, the victim’s mother addressed the court and spoke favorably toward her husband, Hatton. 

“He never once yelled at me,” she said. “I don’t wish any harm to him, and I hope he finds peace.”

She also talked about how Hatton has been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism, and she wished that the judge would consider Hatton’s diagnosis before sentencing him.  

Ogden man pleads guilty to 2016 murder of 8-week-old daughter

Teral Tree, deputy county attorney for the Weber County Attorney’s Office, outlined the injuries Avery Hatton sustained during her short life. Tree also reminded the court that Hatton originally told police the child’s injuries were from a recent fall and that the child’s autopsy and experts proved that was not possible.

When the child’s body was examined, multiple bone fractures were found throughout her body.

An autopsy performed by the state medical examiner’s office determined the infant’s cause of death was blunt force trauma, and her death was listed as a homicide, according to previous Standard-Examiner reports.

“These are injuries from someone who clearly abused their child,” Tree said. 

Ogden baby's death couldn't have been from accidental fall, court documents say

Prosecutors said in a previous hearing that the child suffered injuries due to “extreme shaking and pulling of limbs.”

After the prosecution spoke, Jones addressed the court and said he has received a number of letters encouraging him to give Hatton a lesser sentence. Jones said cases like this are the ones that “tear your heart out.”

However, due to mandatory state minimums, Jones said his “hands are tied,” and he is required to give Hatton the minimum 15 years to life in the Utah State Prison, which he did. Hatton was given credit for the time he has already served at the Weber County Jail. Jones also ordered Hatton to pay $1,781 in restitution. 

Hatton pleaded guilty on Dec. 6, 2017, to one count of first-degree felony murder in connection to his daughter’s 2016 death.

Hatton was originally given bail of $1 million after his arrest, but that was later reduced to $200,000. 

It was unclear when Hatton would be transferred to the Utah State Prison to begin his sentence. 

As of Wednesday, there are no additional court hearings scheduled regarding the case. 

Contact reporter Jacob Scholl at jscholl@standard.net or follow him on Twitter @Jacob_Scholl.

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