WEST UNION, Iowa – A man accused of killing a baby wants to be let out of jail because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dean Alan Hettinger, 23 of Westgate, is charged with 1st degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death. Authorities say four-month-old Holten Smith suffered 36 rib fractures and brain injuries while being cared for by Hettinger. The baby later died in the hospital after suffering seizures.
Hettinger is being held in the Fayette County Jail on $1 million bond and has now filed a motion to be let out due to the threat COVID-19.
In the motion, Hettinger claims jails become “ticking time bombs” during pandemics due to inadequate sanitation, limited medical care, and inmates living in close quarters. The motion argues that Hettinger “continues to be detained in the faith of a public health crisis” only because he cannot afford to pay his million dollar bond. Hettinger’s motion states that if he were released, he would stay at his mother’s home in Fayette County and would be willing to wear an ankle monitor and check in with a probation officer by phone.
Hettinger filed the motion on Tuesday. His trial is scheduled to begin on June 1.