Prosecutors consider forced medication in Bountiful murder case

Prosecutors consider forced medication in Bountiful murder case

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FARMINGTON -- Davis County prosecutors said they are considering seeking an order to force-medicate Jeremy Hauck to restore him to competency to face a murder charge.

During a hearing in 2nd District Court on Thursday, the judge said Hauck, 21, remains mentally incompetent to face trial in the 2006 death of his mother. It was then that Davis County prosecutors said, depending on what doctors recommend, they might seek an order to force-medicate the young man.

"If the doctors come back and say 'We feel very strongly that we can bring his competency back with medication' and he refuses to do it," deputy Davis County Attorney Steve Major told KSL NewsRadio outside of court.

Such a move is rare. The only other case like it in the Utah courts currently is believed to be the criminal case involving Elizabeth Smart's accused kidnappers, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee.

Hauck has been at the state mental hospital since shortly after he was jailed. His defense attorney, Todd Utzinger, raised questions about his mental health early on when he said his client was non-communicative with him.

In court on Thursday, Judge John Morris said that doctors told him that Hauck has "indicated he's unwilling to accept medications." However, Utzinger said doctors still haven't settled on a firm diagnosis of his mental illnesses. "They've not formally made a diagnosis. They have some tentative beliefs," he told KSL NewsRadio. "They tend towards schizophrenia, with perhaps paranoid dementia and issues on the autism spectrum."

Hauck is accused of killing his mother, Laura Hauck, 52, and stuffing her body in a freezer back in August 2006. After family members had gone days without hearing from her, police broke into the Bountiful townhouse she shared with her son and found blood leaking from the bedroom to a chest-style freezer. They found her frozen body inside.

Hauck was arrested days later in Montana. Bountiful police have said a motive in the slaying remains a mystery.


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Ben Winslow


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