A man was charged with shaking his girlfriend’s baby to death. All charges were dropped when a DA said he just wanted to ‘get laid’

Brook Crawford and William Jacobs in mug shots  (Fremont County Sheriff’s Office)
Brook Crawford and William Jacobs in mug shots (Fremont County Sheriff’s Office)

A man accused of killing his girlfriend’s baby has had all charges against him dropped because prosecutors said that he just wanted to “get laid”.

William Jacobs, 22, was charged with the first-degree murder of 10-month-old Edward Hayes after the infant was found unresponsive in a motel room in Cañon City, near Colorado Springs, back in May 2023.

Investigators alleged that Jacobs shook little Edward to death after the child’s mother – Jacobs’ 21-year-old girlfriend Brook Crawford – left him in his care when she went to work.

At the time, Jacobs told investigators that he had gone to change Edward’s diaper when he “went stiff and began making gargling noises,” according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Fox21.

He claimed that he began shaking and slapping the baby on the back to try to get him to breathe.

Edward was rushed to hospital where he died from his injuries.

The arrest affidavit alleges that Jacobs’ story changed continually during his interview with law enforcement, at one point admitting he may have shaken and slapped the baby “kinda rough” before later saying he was not rough.

An autopsy found that the 10-month-old died from blunt force head trauma.

But now, one year on, all charges have been dropped after Linda Stanley, 11th Judicial district attorney in Fremont County, made disparaging comments about the suspect to a news station.

Brook Crawford and William Jacobs in mug shots (Fremont County Sheriff’s Office)
Brook Crawford and William Jacobs in mug shots (Fremont County Sheriff’s Office)

Jacobs’ defense had filed a motion asking Fremont County District Court Judge Kaitlin Turner to dismiss the case, citing “outrageous governmental conduct” during an interview between DA Stanley and KRDO on 12 July 2023.

That day, DA Stanley, KRDO reporter Sean Rice and his cameraman had all attended a court hearing in the case, according to the motion obtained by the Cañon City Daily Record.

Following the hearing, the journalists had approached DA Stanley to request an interview.

“DA Stanley agreed to an interview right after the setting conference, and Mr. Rice and the cameraman were escorted into the District Attorney’s Office inside the Fremont County Courthouse. Portions of this interview were first aired on news station KRDO on that same day, July 12, 2023,” the court filing states.

During the interview, the DA made comments about Jacobs, which his public defenders claim were an attempt to “weaponize the press against” him and Crawford, his attorneys 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,” DA Stanley told KRDO’s 13 Investigates. “I’m sorry to be that blunt, but honest to God, that’s what’s going on.”

She also made comments about Crawford, who was also charged with child abuse causing injury and child abuse causing serious bodily injury in the case, CBS News reports.

DA Stanley later claimed she thought she was speaking “off the record”.

However the defense said that the 29-minute raw interview footage indicated she knew she was being recorded, as she had a microphone clipped on and made a comment about being taped, the Cañon City Daily Record reported.

DA Linda Stanley in interview with KRDO (KRDO)
DA Linda Stanley in interview with KRDO (KRDO)

The reporters from KRDO also submitted affidavits saying DA Stanley did not request to speak off the record.

In a court order on Wednesday, the judge said that the evidence showed Stanley “knew she was being recorded” during the interview.

“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 wrote.

“Second, DA Stanley’s comments were imbued with a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of Mr. Jacobs.

“Her comments included her vituperative, sensational, and inflammatory opinions of Mr. Jacobs’ character, his credibility, his reputation, and his criminal record. Third, DA Stanley had notice that improper pretrial, extrajudicial statements would have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing a defendant’s rights to a fair trial.”

The judge dismissed all charges against Jacobs.

A similar motion to dismiss the charges against Crawford over DA Stanley’s comments was granted in April and is currently pending review before the Colorado Court of Appeals.

DA Stanley is now facing a disciplinary hearing on 10 June over this case, as well as comments she made about Barry Morphew’s criminal case, according to public documents seen by KRDO.

Morphew was charged with the murder of his wife Suzanne Morphew – who vanished back on Mother’s Day 2020 – before the charges were dropped.

He later filed a $15bn lawsuit against DA Stanley and six other prosecutors accusing them of “a political agenda of locking up Mr Morphew in response to a media frenzy that prosecutors themselves helped create”.