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Accused baby killer in Fremont County released on bond as judge considers sanctions in case

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) - A Cañon City man was released from jail on a PR bond nearly a year after he was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend’s 10-month-old baby.

On May 21, detectives responded to a Motel 6 in Cañon City for an unresponsive 10-month-old boy, Edward Hayes. William Jacobs, 21, was the last person taking care of the baby when police responded. He was living with the baby’s mother, Brook Crawford, at the time, and was watching Hayes while Crawford worked.

During an interview with detectives, the affidavit stated Jacobs admitted to biting Hayes on the arm "while playing with him" and hitting Hayes’ head on a door frame while trying to make him throw up a few days earlier. He also said he disciplined Hayes in the same way he'd disciplined his dog and "demonstrated throwing his dog, but used an infant-sized doll to demonstrate lightly throwing [Hayes] onto the bed."

Jacobs was initially charged with child abuse, but when Hayes died a couple of days later, his charges were increased to first-degree murder. Initially, he was given no bond, but then the Colorado Supreme Court ruled all suspects, even those accused of murder, must be given a bond. His bond was changed to $100,000 cash or surety.

Former 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May said changes in charges and bond in a case involving a child abuse death are common and fluctuate depending on what experts discover.

“It also comes up in these cases that sometimes opinions change with experts and then the D.A. or the defense has to react to what experts are now saying based on what information they're given,” May said.

However, he said what happened Wednesday during a bond hearing was unusual. Fremont County Judge Kaitlin Turner lowered Jacobs' bond to a personal recognizance with conditions, including a GPS monitor and multiple protection orders.

“You figure something came up in the case because that's unusual to go from $100,000 bond to I'm now letting you out on your word that you'll show up at the next court hearing,” May said.

11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley told KRDO13 Investigates that her office “argued vehemently against any reduction in bond due to the nature and seriousness of the charges as well as the defendant’s history, amongst other factors.”

About three months after Jacobs was arrested, Stanley provided KRDO13 Investigates with new details about the case in a recorded interview.

"I'm going to be very blunt here. He has zero investment in this child. Zero. He's watching that baby so he can get laid. That's it. And have a place to sleep," Stanley told 13 Investigates in the interview. "I'm sorry to be that blunt, but honest to God, that's what's going on."

Stanley believes Crawford saw an opportunity to live with Jacobs and have someone who could care for her child while she was away from the Motel 6 room where they were living.

"I think she saw a live-in babysitter. Now she can just really pound out the hours, right? She's got a live-in babysitter," Stanley said in the interview.

Stanley claims the interview was off the record, despite being on camera and wearing a microphone. These comments, as well as other court violations, have led to multiple complaints being filed with the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel (OARC), a state body that disciplines attorneys. 

The complaints accuse her of violating "rules of professional conduct for attorneys" by speaking publicly about multiple open criminal cases, including that of a now-dismissed, high-profile murder case, violating mandatory evidence disclosures to defense attorneys, and attempting to investigate a sitting judge without criminal evidence.

Stanley is scheduled to argue against the complaints and alleged court misconduct against her in May.

Due to Stanley’s comments about Jacobs’ case and alleged evidence delays within the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Jacobs’ attorneys asked for sanctions into the case. Stanley’s office has already experienced sanctions in multiple cases, including judges lowering bonds or dismissing charges. In Tuesday’s hearing, the judge said she would consider sanctions.

“The courts don't like sanctioning the case to the point that it affects the outcome of justice,” May said. “It's the last thing they want to do. You really have to have a very severe pattern before they're going to say, we're going to let someone who may have done a murder or even an armed robbery or a sexual assault walk the streets today because of this pattern.”

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Quinn Ritzdorf

Quinn is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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