Judge gives prosecutors more time in Utah dead babies case
PROVO, Utah — Prosecutors have been granted more time to determine what charges to file against a woman accused of killing six of her babies and storing their bodies in her garage.
Megan Huntsman, 39, was in court on Monday wearing a baggy prison jumpsuit, her hands and ankles shackled. She mostly stared at the ground as prosecutors asked the judge for two weeks to sort through evidence and ensure they choose the proper charges.
A state judge in Provo granted them a week after Huntsman's newly appointed attorney objected to two weeks.
Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said outside court that Huntsman remains the only suspect.
Pleasant Grove police Detective Dan Beckstrom noted authorities are awaiting results from autopsies completed last week by the state medical examiner.
Investigators hope DNA will reveal the sex of the babies and who their parents are, although that could take months.
“There's a lot more work to do on those autopsies, and when we get that information, we'll be ready to file,” Beckstrom said.
Buhman said authorities will have questions, but the extra week will give his office more time to make a careful, calculated decision on charges.
“We want to make sure we don't file erroneously,” Buhman said. “The closer we can get to the truth of what happened, the better decisions we can make.”
Huntsman's estranged husband, Darren West, discovered one of the infant corpses in the garage of their Pleasant Grove home on April 12.
Police said Huntsman acknowledged that from 1996 to 2006, she strangled or suffocated six of the babies, put them in plastic bags and packed them inside boxes in the garage of her home south of Salt Lake City. She told police a seventh baby was stillborn.
Investigators believe West is the father of thebabies, though they are waiting on DNA results to confirm that, Buhman said. West lived with Huntsman during the decade in which she says the deaths occurred, but he was in federal prison on drug charges from 2006 until January.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- GOP hopefuls take on illegal immigration in debate preview
- Congress targets Stingray cellphone data monitors
- Planned Parenthood escapes punishment on pair of fronts
- U.S. judge blocks extradition of Russian to Poland over looted art
- Suspect in Memphis police officer’s killing surrenders
- Hurricane Guillermo downgraded to tropical storm
- Heavy rain, flooding soak Tampa Bay area
- Midwest farmers pessimistic of fall harvest amid damaging, long-term rain
- Jury eyes execution as option for Colorado movie theater shooter
- Texas Attorney General Paxton accused of lying to investors
- GOP claims enough votes to reject Iran nuclear deal