Last year, Jason Thomas Hager, aka Jason Thomas Bates, was charged with first degree felony murder and four other felony charges in connection with the death of Matthew Wayne Young of southern Utah.
Hager was arrested on April 26, 2021 in Flagstaff, Arizona. He was then transferred and booked into the Kane County Jail on July 15, per Deputy C. Cram.
The petition for inquiry into the defendant’s competency to stand trial was filed Oct. 10 and granted Nov. 3.
The evaluation took over two months to complete and was performed by two different evaluators. Both evaluators concluded that Hager was not competent to stand trial and sent their recommendations to the court. The evaluation documents are not publicly available.
On April 1, 2022, Hager went before the court for the evidentiary hearing to review his mental health evaluation. At the hearing, the court agreed that Hager was suffering from a mental disorder that resulted in an inability to have a rational and factual understanding of the proceedings against him or the punishment specified for the offense charged.
The mental disorder constituted an inability to consult with his counsel and to participate in the proceedings against him.
Judge Marvin D. Bagley ordered that Hager be turned over to the executive director of the Department of Human Services to receive treatment intended to restore his competency. Kane County court documents show that Hager was to remain incarcerated at the Kane County Jail until transportation arrangements were made.
While waiting in Kane County Jail, Hager was found dead in his cell from a suspected suicide, according to a press release from the Kane County Sheriff ’s Office. The Washington County Sheriff ’s Office and the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office were assigned to investigate his death.
As of right now, there is no update on the investigation. Washington County is still waiting for more information from medical examiners, according to Sergeant Joel Hafoka of Washington County.