Possible conflict in Ogden child death case
January 18, 2016
Matthew Ogden's defense may soon file motions concerning a potential conflict of interest involving his previous attorney.
Ogden, a 29-year-old from Parachute, faces charges related to the homicide of his month-old daughter from June of last year.
Phyllis Wyatt, the newborn girl's mother, pleaded guilty in December to child abuse resulting in death, and her and Ogden's cases have been segregated.
An autopsy determined that Sara Ogden, the couple's 4-week-old daughter, died after sustaining what might have been two fatal injuries, according to previous Post Independent reports. She had bruising to her liver and hemorrhaging in her brain due to a fracture from a blunt force impact.
Wyatt told police that she awoke one June day to find Ogden violently shaking Sara. And when he took the newborn into the living room, she heard him screaming at the girl, along with pounding and thumping sounds.
Before warrants were issued for their arrest, Ogden and Wyatt fled to Minnesota, where Ogden used to visit as a child. Minnesota law enforcement arrested them on felony fugitive of justice charges from another state on June 30.
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Ogden has been charged with first-degree murder of a child by a person in a position of trust, a first-degree felony; child abuse causing death, a second-degree felony; and two counts of child abuse causing serious bodily injury, a third-degree felony.
Alongside Ogden's criminal case, he's in the middle of a dependency and neglect case. Sarah's twin brother was not harmed, but he was later taken into protective custody.
Until recently his attorney in that case was Tony Hershey. But then the district attorney's office rehired Hershey, who formerly had worked as a prosecutor in the office.
Because Ogden's two cases are closely related, Hershey's knowledge of the dependency and neglect case could conflict with his new role at the district attorney's office. Deputy District Attorney Anne Norrdin volunteered that Hershey would be "walled off" from the criminal case in a way to not risk leaked information about the case to the prosecution, but Judge John Neiley also gave the defense two weeks to file motions regarding the potential conflict.