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Jason Michael HANN





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Baby killer
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: July 1999 / February 2001
Date of arrest: April 25, 2002
Date of birth: December 19, 1974
Victim profile: His son, Jason, 6-week-old / His daughter, Montana, 2½ months old
Method of murder: Beating
Location: Vermont/California, USA
Status: Sentenced to 27 to 30 years in prison in Vermont on March 1, 2006. Sentenced to death on December 19, 2013
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Jury chooses death for dad in Calif. baby killing; also killed son in Vermont

Dec. 21, 2013

INDIO, CALIF. — After deliberating for just a few hours, a Southern California jury has recommended a death sentence for a man for killing his 2-month-old daughter, whose body was found in an Arkansas storage unit.

Jason Hann, 38, already is serving 27 to 30 years for the 1999 murder of his 6-week-old son at a Shelburne, Vt. campground.

The Riverside County jury recommended the death sentence for Hann on Thursday, two days after convicting him of first-degree murder and assault on a child.

California prosecutors say Hann hit his daughter, Montana, to stop her from crying in Desert Hot Springs in 2001. Authorities say Hann and the baby’s mother put the body in a plastic container and moved away. Her decomposed remains were uncovered in February 2002 after their abandoned camper was sold at auction and the buyer found the container.

Krissy Werntz, 33, of Indiana also is charged with murder.

Police in Burlington, Vt., said in 2002 they were asked to look for evidence from 1999 when the couple had been living in Vermont. The couple had arrived in Vermont in 1998 and Werntz found work through Westaff, and also worked at a bakery, Magic Hat Brewery and Rhino Foods.

Police said Hann admitted to knocking the boy’s head against a crib and that he died a few days later while staying at the campground.

Werntz said she held the baby for three days and Hann later put the body in a bowling bag. Hann told police that he and Werntz carried the dead body around with them in a plastic container for 18 months.

Hann said he never reported the death for fear he and Werntz were wanted for a fraud charge in Tennessee. The goal was to buy a piece of land and bury him, police said.

Police in Arizona found the boy’s body in April 2002 after Hann told them where to look. The body had been left in another trailer outside Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

A third infant, also named Jason, was seized from the couple when they were arrested in Portland Maine in 2002.


Jury decides death for father who killed 2-month-old daughter

By Rick Rojas - Los Angeles Times

December 19, 2013

A Riverside County jury decided Thursday that a man should face the death penalty for killing his 2-month-old daughter in Desert Hot Springs and leaving her remains in an Arkansas storage unit, prosecutors said.

Jason Michael Hann, 39, was convicted by a jury Tuesday of one count of first-degree murder and another of assault on a child resulting in death, according to a statement from the Riverside County district attorney's office.

Jurors also found true the special circumstances allegation of a previous murder conviction, which prompted the district attorney to seek the death penalty.

The decomposing remains of the baby girl were found in February 2002 in a plastic container in an Arkansas storage unit. The body was found when the contents of the space were going to be sold because the unit's renter failed to pay the bill.

Authorities found Hann and his girlfriend, Krissy Werntz, were the renters, and the couple were tracked down in Portland, Maine, where they were arrested in April 2002.

Close to the time of the arrest, authorities found the couple's third child, a boy who was about a month old, had life-threatening injuries, including a dozen rib fractures and retinal hemorrhages.

During questioning, Hann told investigators the girl found in Arkansas had died in Desert Hot Springs in 2001.

The day after the arrest, police found the remains of another of the couple's children, this one a boy less than 2 months old, in an Arizona storage unit.

That child had been killed in July 1999 in Vermont, and his remains were kept in a plastic container for more than a year before they rented the Arizona unit in December 2000.

Hann was convicted in February 2006 in Vermont of second-degree murder for that baby's death and sentenced to 27 to 30 years in prison, prosecutors said.


Father Convicted Of Killing Second Infant In Southern California

December 17, 2013

INDIO, Calif. (AP) – A father who killed his infant son more than a decade ago was found guilty Tuesday of also murdering his 2-month-old daughter, whose decomposing remains were found in a trash bag at an Arkansas storage unit.

Jason Hann, 38, was convicted of first-degree murder and one count of assault on a child resulting in death, according to the Riverside County district attorney’s office.

The Vermont man was living in Desert Hot Springs east of Los Angeles in 2001 when he became angry that his daughter, Montana, was crying. He struck her in the head and killed her, prosecutors said.

Hann and the girl’s mother stuffed the body in plastic and moved away, keeping it in trailers and motorhomes for nine months as they moved from state to state doing odd jobs, authorities said.

The couple eventually arrived in Arkansas and left the body in a trailer at a storage facility, authorities said. They intended to return, but they missed some rental payments and their property was sold, authorities said.

In February 2002, a man who bought the trailer found the girl’s decomposed body wrapped in plastic bags, authorities said.

Hann and the girl’s mother, Krissy Lynn Werntz of Indiana, were arrested two months later at a motel in Maine.

The California charges were filed while Hann was serving a 27- to 30-year prison sentence for the 1999 death of his 6-week-old son at a Vermont campground. The child’s body was found in a storage unit in Arizona the day after the couple was arrested.

Authorities said Hann had trekked around with the boy’s body for 18 months.

Hann pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in that case, and California jurors found the special allegation that he had previously committed murder.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Werntz, 34, is awaiting trial on one count of murder. A lawyer for Werntz couldn’t immediately be located.


Trial begins for man accused of killing infant daughter

December 3, 2013

(USA TODAY) -- Jason Michael Hann admits he killed two of his children just weeks after they were born, his attorney said. Their bodies were found in separate storage lockers 1,500 miles apart in 2002.

Already serving up to 30 years in the Vermont prison system for the 1999 death of his son, Hann's murder trial began Monday in the 2001 killing of his daughter, Montana, who prosecutors say died in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. She was 2½ months old.

Riverside County prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty for Hann by invoking the "special circumstance" of a previous murder conviction. If the jury finds him guilty of first-degree murder with the special circumstance, it will then decide if the death sentence should be imposed. The other option would be life without possibility of parole.

Hann, who has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge, has had severe bipolar disorder since early childhood, his lawyer Brenda Miller said. She asked the jury of nine women and three men at Larson Justice Center in California to consider a second-degree murder charge in light of that information.

Miller compared Hann's cycles of rage to a swing on a children's playground - going up and down - and said 10-week-old Montana took the brunt of it one day almost 13 years ago.

"Just as his anxiety and his rage was reaching its peak, Montana began to cry, and her cries got louder and louder, and his rage just exploded," Miller said, at which point Hann punched the baby with a closed fist.

Hann had been treated several times for bipolar disorder, but he checked himself out of facilities against medical advice and refused to take medication.

"Mental illness is no excuse" for what Hann did, Miller said, but she asked the jury to consider the lesser conviction, which carries a sentence of 15 years to life.

Investigators in Arkansas, where Montana's remains were found, determined she died while her parents lived in Desert Hot Springs, and her body was wrapped inside garbage bags and placed in a "blue Tupperware-type container," deputy Riverside County district attorney Lisa DiMaria said. Then the couple, who DiMaria said lived a "transient, gypsy-style life" beginning in 1998, left for Arkansas. They rented a storage locker, where they kept a trailer containing Montana's body. A year after Montana died, her parents had stopped paying for the locker and the contents were auctioned off. The buyer called police after finding the body.

An all-points-bulletin found Hann and the children's mother, Krissy Lynn Werntz, in a Motel 6 in Portland, Maine, with a 1-month old son, named Jason, who was found to have numerous broken ribs, bleeding under his skull and other internal injuries, according to the prosecution. The state placed this child with foster parents, who eventually adopted him.

Witness Jennifer Bloom, an employee of Maine's Department of Human Services, testified she and a colleague were sent to check on the new baby's welfare, and Hann admitted to being involved with the deaths of his two other children.

"He said he was responsible for both deaths. He didn't provide a lot of detail. He said, 'I fell and blacked out with the baby,'" Bloom said. She added Hann said he felt guilty about the deaths, and felt he had to keep moving to evade police.

The body of the couple's first child, who also was named Jason, was found similarly wrapped in trash bags inside a rubber container, in a storage locker in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. He was 6 weeks old when he died.

Hann was extradited to California in 2009 to be tried for Montana's death, and it took four years for the death-penalty case to make its way through the system and into opening arguments.

DiMaria explained to the jury the two boys would be referred to as "Jason One" and "Jason Two" during the course of the trial to differentiate between them, though the surviving boy also may be called by his adoptive name, Michael.

Almost all witnesses are being flown in from out of state, due to the couple's frequent relocations.

Testimony is expected to end next week.


More than 12 Years Later, Prosecutor Details Horrendous Killing of Infant

Posted by Guy McCarthy -

December 02, 2013

A father beat his 10-week-old daughter to death, wrapped duct tape around her head and kept her body inside a trash bag that he and his girlfriend took with them from Desert Hot Springs to Arkansas, a prosecutor said Monday.

Prosecutor Lisa DiMaria told jurors Dec. 2 that Jason Michael Hann, 38, struck his infant daughter Montana with a closed fist in February 2001, inflicting fatal skull fractures.

The infant's lifeless body was placed in a Tupperware container, which was then put in the trash bag and kept inside a trailer for a year at a storage unit in Arkansas, DiMaria said in her opening statement.

When Hann and the baby's mother, Krissy Lynn Werntz, stopped making payments, the trailer was auctioned off to an Arkansas man, who discovered the bag in February 2002, DiMaria said.

The man inadvertently placed the bag inside a trash bin and saw what looked like a skeletal hand, prompting him to call police, the prosecutor said.

Werntz, Hann's ex-girlfriend, is also charged with murder in the case and will be tried separately.

Hann was extradited to California from a prison cell in Vermont, where he was prosecuted for killing his 6-week-old son Jason, in 1999. The baby's body was found in an Arizona storage unit, DiMaria said.

Hann pleaded no contest in 2006 to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 27 to 30 years in prison. Werntz was not charged in that case.

In addition to the latest murder charge, Hann faces a special circumstance allegation of having a previous murder conviction and one count of assault on a child causing great bodily injury. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Hann's third child - also named Jason - nearly died at the hands of his father, DiMaria told jurors. But that infant, who was beaten at the age of four weeks, was the "lucky one" who survived a series of skull and rib fractures, the prosecutor said, adding that the boy was later adopted and renamed.

"He admitted to killing Jason and Montana" when being questioned by Arkansas police during the 2002 arrest for Montana's killing, the prosecutor said.

Defense attorney Brenda Miller told jurors that her client has suffered from bipolar disorder since early childhood. He endured mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, agitation and has harbored thoughts of suicide "all his life," Miller said in her opening statement.

At 19, Hann was placed in a group home for people with psychological problems, and he was less-than-honorably discharged from the Navy, the defense attorney said.

Miller said Montana's cries made Hann reach an extreme peak in his severe mood swings, Miller said.

"Welcome to Jason Michael Hann's world," the defense attorney said.


Graphic and disturbing details emerge regarding Jason and Krissy Hann

April 26, 2002

“I feel very strongly about it. These people should never see the light again after what they've done. They're history."

That's what Portland Police Chief Michael Chitwood had to say after learning of everything the Hanns have allegedly done. He says they deserve no mercy.

The couple is wanted in Arkansas for the death of the baby girl Montana. Her body was found in a camper in Benton in February, but police say it was part of a continuing pattern of deadly child abuse.

After his arrest Monday, Jason Hann told police how he killed Montana. Portland detective Todd Coons says, "he told me that he had bouts of anger and that during one of these bouts he struck the infant child in the head with a closed fist in a backhand motion."

Hann says he told Krissy the child died after he fell with her in his arms. As the Hanns appeared in court on Wednesday, details surfaced that the couple was suspected of killing yet another child in July 1999. A boy they called baby Jason.

The child was killed in Vermont and Hann tells police the baby wouldn't stop crying. Jason claims he lost control and this time he forcefully slammed the baby down as he was putting him in the bassinet. When he did this, the baby's head hit the back of the bassinet. Hann said he did this several more times the child died about three days later.

Jason and Krissy Hann, carried baby Jason's body with them in a plastic container for a year and half, before leaving it in a camper in Arizona in December 2000. That's when Montana was born, and it started over again.

A one-month-old child with the Hanns when they were arrested Monday night was first believed to be in good condition. But after an examination, Maine Human Services says it appears the child suffers from shaken baby syndrome. He has blood clots on the brain and multiple skull, leg, and rib fractures. Portland police say the Hann's could face abuse charges.



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