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OGDEN — Bail has been reduced for an Ogden man charged with killing his 8-week-old daughter.
Michael Lee Hatton, 25, appeared in 2nd District Court Wednesday where bail was dropped from $1 million to $200,000, prosecutors confirmed. He is charged with murder, a first-degree felony.
According to police, 8-week-old Avery Hatton was rushed by medical helicopter to Primary Children's Hospital on Oct. 2 when the girl stopped breathing.
The infant had reportedly been dropped by her father three days earlier while he was feeding her, but a doctor who investigated Avery's extensive injuries said they were "too severe to be caused from the fall Michael described," according to a probable cause affidavit.
When medical personnel did an X-ray in order to insert a breathing tube for the infant, they discovered severe injuries including fractures on the girl's skull, rib, clavicle and humerus, according to court documents. The child also had bruises on her head and neck.
Avery died at the hospital three days later.
Hatton told police he was holding Avery while he sat and fed her on Sept. 29. The father said Avery's head hit his knee before she fell and hit an ottoman and she landed facedown on the floor, the affidavit states.
Hatton said his daughter stopped breathing while he showered with her the next day and on Oct. 2, according to court documents. He was alone with the child each time he said this occurred.
A doctor from the Center for Safe and Healthy Families examined Avery's injuries and determined they were the result of either someone pulling on her limbs or violent shaking.
In addition to the fractures discovered in the X-ray, some of which appeared to have been healing for four to seven days, the doctor discovered swelling in the girl's brain believed to have been caused by violent shaking moments before she stopped breathing, court documents state.
The doctor also identified stretching in the girl's spine and additional fractures to her ribs, right arm and both legs, according to the affidavit.
Hatton and his wife told police they were both originally from Ohio, and had moved in July to Utah from Delaware to live with friends after they both lost their jobs.
Hatton remained in Weber County Jail on Thursday.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19.