A third psychologist was appointed today to examine a man accused of killing his baby daughter near Desert Hot Springs and leaving her body in a camper in Arkansas.
Jason Michael Hann, 35, could face the death penalty if convicted of the February 2001 murder of his infant daughter Montana.
Also charged in Montana’s death is her mother — Hann’s then-girlfriend, Krissy Lynn Werntz, 30 — who faces life in prison if convicted.
Hann is being held at the Indio Jail without bail. Werntz is free on her own recognizance.
Hann killed another of his children in Vermont and was in prison for that crime when Vermont officials allowed him to be brought back to California to stand trial for the other child’s death.
But Riverside County Superior Court Judge Thomas Douglass suspended the criminal proceedings in April, after defense attorney Gregory M. Johnson questioned his client’s mental competence.
The judge today appointed psychologist Michael Kania to examine Hann and submit a report to the court by Aug. 20. Douglass previously appointed two other psychologists at the request of the defense.
Montana was born in Arizona in December 2000, and the family moved to a trailer park near Desert Hot Springs about a month later, according to Riverside County sheriff’s Investigator Gary LeClair.
Hann told investigators that on Feb. 10, 2001, he lost his temper and slapped Montana on the side of the head, and that she died later that day.
Werntz said that when she returned home, she picked up the infant from a bed in the bathtub, but Montana was dead.
They kept the girl in a trash bag, and two months later the couple left California, with the infant’s body, to travel around the nation.
The couple left their daughter’s body in a trailer at a storage facility in Wynne, Ark., and when they didn’t make the rental payments, the contents were sold.
A man later bought the trailer and found the infant’s decomposed body, which had skull and leg fractures.
The couple were arrested in April 2002 at a Motel 6 in Maine and the next month were sent to Arkansas to stand trial, but a judge there ordered the case to be turned over to California authorities because the death allegedly occurred in Riverside County.