New trial date set for man accused of pouring hot oil on sleeping woman and her baby

Michael Lee Maloney

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Michael Lee Maloney

A summer trial date has been set for a man accused of throwing hot grease on a woman and baby as they slept in a Hamilton home four days before Christmas.

Michael Maloney, 42, of Sycamore Street in Hamilton, is charged with aggravated burglary and two counts of felonious assault for the incident that happened Dec. 21, 2021, according to court records.

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Maloney, who remains housed in the Butler County Jail in lieu of $500,000, was originally scheduled to go to trial in March, but it was continued by Common Pleas Judge Greg Stephens after the defense filed pretrial motions.

In a motion to suppress, Defense Attorney Ched Peck alleged Maloney gave “incriminating” statements to police that were not made voluntarily, but procured by intimidation, coercion or deception by detectives and without proper Miranda warning.

The defense also argued evidence from the search warrants, including one Maloney’s cell phone were improperly obtained and the evidence found should be tossed out at trial.

On April 5, Stephens denied all of the defense motions.

Maloney was back in court Monday where a new trial was set for June 28.

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The injured woman, Jayla Witt, called dispatchers about 7:50 a.m. screaming that someone had broken into her Grand Boulevard residence and burned her and the child.

“Somebody ran in my house,” Witt told dispatchers. “I am burned. Me and my baby are burned.”

Hamilton Sgt. Richard Burkhardt said in January the woman and her 16-month-old son were intentionally doused with hot oil.

“She was in bed. The guy broke into the house. He had some hot oil and threw it on her while she was asleep and also burnt the child,” Burkhardt said.

An investigation pointed to Maloney as the suspect. He was taken into custody Dec. 29 in Kentucky, waived extradition and was booked into the Butler County Jail about 4:30 p.m. that day.

In 2000, Maloney pleaded guilty in Butler County Common Pleas Court to voluntary manslaughter for fatally beating a man to death with a baseball bat. Judge Keith Spaeth sentenced Maloney to the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. In 2008, Spaeth denied Maloney’s request for early release from prison.

An update on the wellbeing of the mother and child who were injured was unavailable.

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