Man accused of killing Santaquin officer appears in court

May 15, 2024, 7:44 PM

Michael Aaron Jayne, accused of killing Sgt. Bill Hooser, appeared in court Wednesday May 15 ....

Michael Aaron Jayne, accused of killing Sgt. Bill Hooser, appeared in court Wednesday May 15. (Utah County Jail live feed)

(Utah County Jail live feed)

PROVO, Utah — Wearing a neck brace, his face bloody with scratches, and breathing with the help of an oxygen line, Michael Aaron Jayne made his first court appearance on Wednesday. 

Jayne faces charges of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, and attempted kidnapping. In all, he faces nine charges for the events of May 5, 2024, that led to the death of Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser.

Santaquin officer killed in crash; suspect in custody

Jayne appeared virtually in 4th District Court from Utah County Jail. Onlookers watched as he was pushed into view of the camera in a wheelchair. He was escorted by two police officers who stood behind him on the screen throughout his virtual court appearance.

With a strained voice, Jayne told the judge he had no access to money, or the ability to pay for a lawyer. 

Police: Suspect in Sgt. Bill Hooser killing held a woman against her will when pulled over

He was granted a public defender. Jayne’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 21.

Attorneys for Utah County had asked for more time before the preliminary hearing, but Judge Robert Lund denied that request.

Jayne was arrested after allegedly intentionally crashing a semi-truck into Santaquini Police Sgt. Bill Hooser.

According to a Utah County Sheriff’s Office booking document, police believe Jayne was holding a woman against her will in his semi-truck when Sgt. Hooser and UHP Trooper Dustin Griffiths pulled him over on I-15 in Santaquin.

He reportedly wouldn’t answer the officers’ questions and ultimately pulled away in his truck. Jayne then allegedly accelerated toward the officers, hitting Sgt. Hooser and killing him. 

The booking report said Jayne fled the scene. After a high-speed chase ending in Vernal, Jayne lost control of the semi-truck and crashed. He was arrested and taken to the hospital, and was later released to the Utah County jail. 

Slain Santaquin officer enjoyed ‘making a difference’ with police work


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