february 21, 2014
INDIO, Calif. — A man who has been convicted of killing two of his infant children and hiding their plastic-wrapped bodies in storage units in Arkansas and Arizona was sentenced to death Friday in a California courthouse.
Jason Michael Hann, 39, who is already serving a 30-year sentence for the murder of his 2-month-old son, Jason, received the death penalty for the slaying of his 10-month-old daughter, Montana.
“These kids never had a chance of life,” said Bruce Price, an alternate juror who supported the death penalty decision. “This guy was trying to cover up his crimes as he went along.”
Some jurors initially resisted sending Hann to his death, but they eventually agreed to recommend that he die for his crimes. Riverside Superior Court Judge James Hawkins upheld the death sentence, denying a defense motion to reduce the sentence to life without parole.
Hann did not speak in his own defense. He sat in court, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, showing no signs of emotion.
Montana’s mother, Krissy Lyyn Werntz, was also charged in the killing. Her trial is scheduled to start on March 17.
Hann killed his infant daughter with a blow to head in Desert Hot Springs in 2001. Prosecutors said Hann wrapped her body in duct tape and plastic bags, then hid it in a blue “Tupperware-type” container stashed in a storage unit in Arkansas.
The body was found a year later after Hann stopped making payments on the storage unit. The contents of the unit were auctioned off, and the body was discovered by the new owner.
Hann and Wertz were arrested in 2002 at a motel in Portland, Maine. A day after the arrest, investigators found the body of the second infant, Jason, in a storage unit in Lake Havasu, Ariz. The boy, who had been killed in Vermont in 1999, and was also in a rubber container.
When the couple was arrested in Maine, they had in their custody a new child, a month old boy who also showed signs of abuse, including broken ribs, bleeding under his skin and internal injuries.
After the court hearing Friday, Price said the abused child was more proof that Hann deserved death. If the boy had not been saved, he likely would have suffered the same fate as his siblings, the juror said.
“(Hann) had already committed a crime against someone and he was in the process of doing the same thing,” Price said. “He got what he deserved.”