Crime & Courts

Father of baby found floating face-down in bathtub pleads no contest to manslaughter

Michael Ray Hatfield has been arrested in connection with the death of his 11-month-old son.
Michael Ray Hatfield has been arrested in connection with the death of his 11-month-old son. Courtesy photo

A Kansas man has pleaded no contest in the death of his son.

Michael Ray Hatfield, 44, of Salina, pleaded no contest last month to involuntary manslaughter and aggravated endangerment of a child, according to the plea agreement filed in Saline County District Court. Other criminal charges were dismissed in the agreement.

Hatfield was arrested on suspicion of murder, aggravated endangerment of a child, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia after Salina police found his son not breathing in May 2017, The Eagle previously reported. First responders immediately began life-saving measures, but the 11-month-old boy was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

The Salina Journal reported that Waylon Hatfield was found floating face-down in a bathtub filled with water 11 1/2 inches deep. A glass bong was found in the bathroom, and officers reported smelling burning marijuana when they entered the home.

Waylon, nicknamed “Poco” by his grandparents, had four brothers, according to his obituary.

Hatfield faces up to 136 months in prison and a fine up to $300,000 for involuntary manslaughter and up to 17 months in prison and a fine up to $100,000 for aggravated endangerment of a child, the plea agreement states.

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