Woman charged with six counts of murder in infants’ deaths

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PROVO, Utah — A West Valley City woman has been formally charged with six counts of first-degree felony murder after the bodies of seven babies were found in her former Pleasant Grove residence earlier this month.

Police said Megan Huntsman, 39, admitted to strangling or suffocating six of her own newborn babies immediately after giving birth to them over a 10-year span beginning in 1996.  A seventh baby, Huntsman told police, was stillborn.

The charges against Huntsman were filed Monday morning in the 4th Judicial District Court in Utah County.

Huntsman’s estranged husband Darren West, who recently came back to Utah after serving a stint in federal prison on drug charges, found the corpses on April 12.

The bodies were found packaged in cardboard boxes in the home Huntsman and West used to share in Pleasant Grove.

A public defender was appointed for Huntsman last week.


  • Bob

    There are those among who support a woman’s right to a partial birth abortion. i support the sanctity of life both before, during and after birth.

    I do support the death penalty, but only for convicted murderers. The pro-abortion crowd gets the two concepts mixed up.

    • Penny Moore

      There were other options she had, rather than murdering 6 innocent infants. Clearly when she gave birth and strangles and suffocates immediately is murder in the first degree, not abortions. She had options of birth control, abortions in the timely trimester, and of course placing the babies up for adoption. Women like this make me sick because there are so many women out there that do want the babies and cannot have them and are willing to adopt and love them NOT KILL THEM.

  • Trish Ramirez

    She certainly would have been better off having terminated her pregnancies. Or being on birth control. But we can’t talk about those things around here.

    Utah’s Safe Haven law is a good thing, it gives women with no other options a place to turn, but we need to be giving women the tools and resources and educations they need to easily and inexpensively prevent unwanted pregnancies from occurring in the first place. The taboo of talking about birth control and family planning needs to be stop in this area. We need to educate our daughters and sisters about responsible reproduction.

    We live in a country where Hobby Lobby is taking the issue of birth control coverage for employees to the Supreme Court while most insurance plans cover Viagra.

    It’s ridiculous.

    This woman needs to pay for what she’s done, but no other woman should ever feel like she has no other option but to do what she did.

    All women of reproductive age should be educated about reproduction and birth control options.

    • Bob

      You’re wrong Trish. Birth control is perfectly accepted by the dominate religion here in Utah. LDS parents are taught not to have more children than they can provide for.

      Yes, this woman would have been better off terminating her children before they were born … but the outcome would have still been the same for those babies.

      • MJ Brewer

        Bob, your comment to Trish saddens me in many ways, but I’d like to address the one where you say, ” the outcome would have still been the same for those babies.”

        Although I am not an advocate for abortion, I believe it is an individual’s right to determine the choices made concerning it. With this being said, the outcome would NOT have been the same. How in the world can a woman — ANY woman — leave a hospital after feeding, diapering, and bathing a baby to suffocate it at home? This is an infant that’s been given a name and laid eyes upon what the child would refer to as “mother,” the name meaning protector and caregiver.

        There are adoption agencies, welfare places, and hospitals willing to care for unwanted children and provide them with parents who search for ways to conceive children. For this to happen once is a travesty; for this to happen so many times without a second thought is not only murder, but inhumane.

        The outcome would NOT have been the same for these babies the way she chose to murder them. Shame on you for saying so.

  • Bob

    Folks like Trish Ramirez want to shift the blame for this individual’s actions to Hobby Lobby, The State of Utah, or the LDS Church. At the end of the day each of us are personally responsible who we are and who we’ve become.

    If we don’t like what we see in the mirror it isn’t the fault of the LDS Church.

    • MJ Brewer

      P.S. YOU are the one who brings up the LDS Church. Trish didn’t mention it, however your views say a lot about your religion. I am aware firsthand the LDS Church teaches you that “you should be an example” for others are watching. Give it a try.

      • Bob

        No one is questioning a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. It is the law of the land. what is often ignored however are the long term effects abortions have on some women who later come to regret the taking of a life.

      • ashleigh

        Mj Brewer… she had these babies at home. No hospital involved, no one knew she was even pregnant.

  • KMitchell

    Postpartum depression can begin any time during the first two months after you give birth. Symptoms may include:
    Irritability or hypersensitivity
    Difficulty concentrating
    Anxiety and worry
    Crying or tearfulness
    Negative feelings such as sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, or guilt
    Loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy
    Difficulty sleeping (especially returning to sleep)
    Fatigue or exhaustion
    Changes in appetite or eating habits
    Headaches, stomachaches, muscle or backaches

  • Katie

    MJ Brewer, I think you misread Bob’s comment. He was saying that SHE would have been better off terminating the pregnancies before the babies were born. Then she wouldn’t be considered a criminal. The babies would NOT have been better off had she aborted them–whether she willed them before or after they were born, they would still be dead. Different actions, same outcome. Dead babies. Both options are dispicable.

  • bernhard

    People are looking for answers here. The whole truth may not be available to us… But one thing that is possible and probable is the reality of Witchcraft and the fact that it teaches how much better off these sacrifices made will end up in a different life/ world/ existence, etc.

    Not trying to excuse this horrific matter, just putting an option out there as to what could possibly drive someone to do this.

  • Marco

    MJ, you say:

    “The outcome would NOT have been the same for these babies the way she chose to murder them. Shame on you for saying so.”

    How would the outcome be better for the babies had she aborted them? The outcome is the same! Those precious babies are dead.

  • Trish Ramirez

    Bob, you can go on and on about what the church teaches in writing, but look around you. The church may advocate not having more children than you can care for (which seems to be what she was trying to accomplish with her misguided and unfortunate actions) but there is a very, very large amount of pressure put on LDS mothers to have large families.

    All of that aside, all religion aside, I stand by my stance that this state (due to the influence of the local predominant religion) takes too conservative a stance on the teaching of birth control and contraceptive options to women of reproductive age. While I do believe that safe, legal abortion on demand should be available to any woman for any reason, of course I would rather see unwanted pregnancies PREVENTED rather than terminated.

    Any sane person would.

    I don’t, however, believe, that your average abortion (most of which are performed prior to 12 weeks gestation, at a point where the fetal brain is incapable of awareness or processing pain signals) is more humane than smothering or strangling a sentient newborn.

    All of THAT aside, I reiterate my original point. We are a state that provides Safe Haven’s for unwanted newborns but that doesn’t provide most women and girls the education and resources they need to PREVENT unintended pregnancies in the first place. Contraception and family planning as well as a comprehensive, science-based education about all things reproduction-related is essential for all people, but particularly for females as they are the ones that have to deal with gestation and all of the stigma that comes along with having an abortion, putting a baby up for adoption or even being seen walking into a reproductive health center to get on the pill.

  • Bob

    No, Trish Ramirez, Megan Huntsman didn’t commit “misguided and unfortunate actions”. She committed six, seperate, premeditated, heinous crimes.

    Again you are attempting to shift the blame for this woman’s actions everywhere except where it belongs. Your typical liberal just doesn’t like to face the concept of taking personal responsibility for our own actions.

    • Trish Ramirez

      Bob, this woman needs to be punished for her crimes.

      She needs to be held accountable for murdering those babies.

      I’ve never said otherwise.

      However, the system around here needs to change so that no other woman finds themselves in her place in the future.

      Safe Havens and adoption options are great, but they are no substitute for proper education about reproduction and access to contraception.

      Our culture needs to stop trying to put women in their place and instead give them access to all of the tools they need to make educated and informed reproductive decisions.

  • Bob

    Trish Ramirez would have us believe that Megan Huntsman is being charged with six counts of “misguided and unfortunate actions”.
    I’m sorry Trish, but the only one responsible for these multiple murders is the one who has been charged with these crimes, and who is current sitting in jail awaiting her trial.

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