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Murder charge dropped against alleged baby killer due to “outrageous government conduct”

CAÑON CITY, Colo. (KRDO) - The charges, including murder, against an alleged baby killer in Fremont County, have been dropped following what a judge said was "outrageous government conduct" by 11th Judicial District District Attorney, Linda Stanley.

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. 

Fremont County Judge Kaitlin Turner, who ran against and lost to DA Stanley in 2020 and has previously filed sanctions against Stanley, has now dismissed the charges against Jacobs.

The dismissal comes after DA Stanley interviewed with KRDO13 Investigates.

In that interview, Stanley said "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. I'm sorry to be that blunt, but honest to God, that's what's going on."

Stanley said that she 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. Stanley also said, “I wanna really hit my button here right now but I can’t do that since we’re recording.”

In the order filed dismissing the charges against Jacobs, Turner noted that "DA Stanley knew or reasonably should have known that her on-the-record comments to reporter Rice about Mr. Jacobs and co-defendant Ms. Crawford would be disseminated by means of public communication and that they would have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing these criminal proceedings."

Judge Turner ultimately decided that "DA Stanley’s actions reflect knowing and intentional outrageous government conduct. This conduct violated Mr. Jacobs’ right to due process. As a result, dismissal of the charges is an appropriate remedy."

The full order from Judge Turner can be read here.

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Emily Arseneau

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