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Judge orders trial in death of West Jordan infant

WEST JORDAN — A judge has ruled that a Utah man will stand trial for the 2017 death of a 13-day-old boy at a home in West Jordan.

Third District Judge William Kendall ruled there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial against 22-year-old Dylan James Kitzmiller, charged with murder and child abuse.

Kitzmiller is accused of killing newborn Archer Sullivan after EMTs pronounced the baby dead back in September 2017.  The infant died of severe brain injuries, according to an autopsy.  The autopsy also revealed the infant had lost weight during his short life, sustaining a fractured arm, broken rib and injured spinal cord, according to court documents.

Kitzmiller’s attorney, Rudy Bautista, says it is the baby’s mother, 27-year-old Maria Elena Sullivan who is responsible for Archer’s death.  Sullivan admitted in court to using heroin for a few days after the child was born.  Bautista says it was her heroin addiction that ultimately led to the child’s death, and that she took out her agitation during withdrawals on her son.

Maria Sullivan was originally charged with murder after prosecutors say she knowingly continued to leave the infant in the care of Kitzmiller despite noticing numerous bruises and marks.  Sullivan reached a plea deal, however, admitting to two counts of child abuse inflicting serious injury, a second-degree felony.

Kitzmiller is due back in court November 19.  Sullivan is expected to face sentencing on child abuse charges the next day.