How a DA’s sexual comments about suspect forced judge to drop murder charges in case accusing him of killing girlfriend’s baby

A Colorado man charged with murdering his girlfriend’s baby had the charges dropped after the district attorney prosecuting the case made shocking sexual comments about the suspect.

William Jacobs, 22, was arrested on a first-degree murder charge in May 2023. He was accused of killing his live-in girlfriend’s 10-month-old baby.

Brook Crawford – the 21-year-old girlfriend of Jacobs and the mother of the baby – left her boyfriend to care for the infant while she went to work.

The baby, Edward Hayes, was found unresponsive in a motel room in Cañon City, roughly 40 miles south of Colorado Springs.

Baby Edward died at the Children’s Hospital in Colorado Springs on May 23, 2023.

According to an arrest affidavit, Jacobs told authorities during his initial interview that he was changing the baby’s diaper when “he went stiff and began making gargling noises.”

Jacobs reportedly admitted to investigators that he bit Edward’s arm while playing with him too rough, but he also allegedly told authorities that the baby suffered the bite mark from a dog.

Jacobs confessed to hitting Edward’s head on the bathroom door frame while he was trying to take him to the toilet so the baby could vomit, according to the Cañon City Daily Record.

A detective said that Jacobs’ story “was continually changing throughout the interview.”

At a preliminary court hearing, an expert purportedly testified that the baby’s head trauma was non-accidental based on the severity and pattern of the injuries.

On April 9, 2023, Jacobs was released on a personal recognizance bond after Crawford submitted a handwritten letter to the judge saying he could stay with her.

“William is a good person,” Crawford wrote. “He just needs the opportunity to show you and the community and he has so much potential that is being thrown away in jail. … I feel if you just give him the time and chance to show you, you would understand how great of a person he is and will be.”

KRDO – a radio station in Colorado Springs – aired and published an interview in the summer of 2023 with 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley, who was the lead prosecutor in the Jacobs case.

Stanley told the reporter regarding Jacobs, “Without the caring factor, without the love factor, then it’s, the (boy) is a pain in the (censored).”

Stanley told the outlet, “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.”

The New York Post reported that Stanley told the reporter that Jacobs “has a pretty awful past, including fondling his mom … It’s not good … It’s kinda weird … What kid fondles their mom, right?”

The DA also allegedly informed the outlet that Jacobs had been previously charged with a sex crime, spent time in a juvenile detention center, and had a “violent past.”

After Stanley’s comments aired, Jacobs’ public defenders – Daniel Zettler and Jake Taufer – filed a motion to dismiss the case based on the district attorney’s controversial comments.

Taufer asserted that Stanley’s remarks were an attempt “to weaponize the press against Mr. Jacobs and Ms. Crawford.” The attorney argued Stanley made the comments intentionally, willingly, and knowingly. He maintained that the intent of the interview was to sway public opinion and poison the jury pool.

Crawford’s attorney, Thom LeDoux, also claimed Stanley’s interview was “highly prejudicial.”

Last week, Fremont County District Court Judge Kaitlin Turner dismissed the murder charge against Jacobs due to “outrageous government conduct.”

“This conduct violated Mr. Jacobs’ right to due process. As a result, dismissal of the charges is an appropriate remedy,” Turner wrote in her decision.

Stanley claimed that she thought the interview was off-the-record.

However, Turner disagreed and said, “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.”

Stanley is now facing an ethics complaint and potential disbarment.

A hearing regarding her conduct is set for June.

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