Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Defense attorney Mia Bailey says she failed to summon her client to jail

Defense attorney Mia Bailey says she failed to summon her client to jail

Saint George • Mia Bailey, the double-homicide suspect accused of killing her parents in their Washington home last month, appeared in court Wednesday, listening silently as a judge spoke with her defense attorney and prosecutors about the case in southern Utah .

At issue was the 28-year-old’s apparent inability to speak by phone from jail with her court-appointed attorney, Ryan Stout.

“She has access to her attorney when I go out there, but I need her to be able to call me,” Stout said, asking 5th District Judge Keith Barnes to intervene in court.

Stout also took issue with an alleged lack of discovery by prosecutors. Discovery is the process in which the prosecution and defense share relevant evidence and documents before a trial begins.

So far, despite what Stout described as good communication with prosecutors, he said he has only received a document explaining probable cause for Bailey’s arrest. Washington County Prosecutor Jerry Jaeger acknowledged the delay but said additional discovery would be released next week.

Barnes ordered the jail to arrange for Bailey to talk to her attorney by phone from the jail several times a week. He also ordered the prosecution to turn over all discovery documents to the defense by 5pm on July 17.

Bailey was physically present at Wednesday’s hearing, unlike her initial court appearance on June 26, for which she video-taped from jail. He sat in a chair in front of the judge and did not say a word during the eight-minute hearing.

Bailey was arrested on June 19, the day after police said she fatally shot her mother and father before opening fire on her brother and wife, who were not injured. She faces two counts of aggravated murder; one count each of attempted aggravated murder and aggravated burglary; and seven counts of felony discharge of a firearm.

The shooting began when Bailey unexpectedly entered her parents’ home and began firing multiple shots at her mother, then shot her father once in the head as he approached her, according to the probable cause document.

Bailey told police she then went downstairs to the home’s basement, where her brother and his wife hid in a locked bedroom and fired a shot through the door, later telling officers that her brother “wasn’t her primary target, but it would not have been sad if the shot had killed him,” the document states. Her brother and his wife had tried to escape through a basement window.

Police said Bailey told them he then went back upstairs, where he shot his father again in the head to “make sure he was dead.” He then shot her mother, who was making noises, once in the head, the document states.

In total, the suspect’s mother was hit four times, and her father two times, according to a medical examiner. Bailey left the scene but surrendered to authorities the next morning in a field near the St. George Temple at 250 E. 400 South after an extensive manhunt.

Police say Bailey was carrying a firearm “of the same caliber” used in the shootings when she was arrested. Afterward, she told police about her estranged relationships with family members, how much she hated her brother, and that she went to her parents’ house with the intention of killing them.

“(Bailey) also stated that he had no remorse for his actions and that he would not change what he did,” the document states. “(Bailey) stated, “I would do it again. I hate them,’” the officers wrote.

While the felony charges are punishable by death, Washington County District Attorney Eric Clarke recently announced that prosecutors will not seek the death penalty in the case.

The case has caught the attention of Conservative MPs. Rep. of State Kera Birkeland speculated without evidence on the social media platform now known as X that gender-affirming hormone therapy may have led to the killings. Bailey is transgender and has legally changed her name and gender marker.

Utah Senator Mike Lee also accused media outlets of reporting “woke” for referring to Bailey as a woman, which he claimed confused residents and compromised their safety when Bailey was still in freedom.

Most news organizations referred to Bailey as a woman or used female pronouns and other identifiers. They either noted that she was transgender or legally changed her gender marker and posted photos released by law enforcement during the searches that show Bailey with both longer and shorter hair.

Utah’s senior senator, for his part, has come under fire from those who have noted that his social media posts are inaccurate, including that he said the murders took place in St. George and not in Washington City.

Bailey continues to be held at the Purgatory Correctional Facility without the option of bail.

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