SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah judge will get his first chance in December to hear the evidence against a woman accused of killing six of her seven newborns and storing all of their bodies in her garage.
Attorneys for Megan Huntsman, 39, decided Monday not to waive their right to a preliminary hearing. That proceeding has been set for Dec. 11. At the conclusion of the hearing, a judge will decide if there is sufficient proof to send the case to trial.
Huntsman is in jail on $6 million bail, charged with six counts of first-degree murder. She has not yet entered a plea. She made a brief appearance in court Monday, but didn’t speak.
Huntsman’s estranged husband discovered the infants’ bodies on April 12 while cleaning out the home they had shared in Pleasant Grove, Utah, a city of about 35,000 south of Salt Lake City.
Police say Huntsman strangled or suffocated the infants from 1996 to 2006, and that a seventh baby found in her garage was stillborn. Investigators believe Huntsman was addicted to methamphetamine and didn’t want to care for the babies.
DNA results have revealed that all seven babies were full term and that her now-estranged husband, Darren West, was the biological father of the infants.
Huntsman lived with West during the 10-year period the children were killed, but he is not considered a suspect in the deaths. He went to prison in 2006 and spent more than eight years behind bars after pleading guilty to drug charges.
West made the grisly discovery while cleaning out the garage. He called police to report finding a dead infant in a small white box covered with electrician’s tape. Six other bodies were found wrapped in shirts or towels inside individual boxes in the garage after police obtained a search warrant.