Michael Haight’s family reported domestic violence to the police as early as 2020 and accused his father of physical and mental abuse, according to a police report cited by local media. However, the authorities decided not to arrest the man at that time. Haight, 42, of Utah, shot and killed his wife, mother-in-law and five children in early January.
The bodies of eight people were found on January 4 in Enoch, Utah. According to investigators later, the 42-year-old Michael Haight shot his wife, five children and mother-in-law, then committed suicide. He did so less than two weeks after his wife filed for divorce. The police admitted from the beginning that the 42-year-old’s family “was known to her”, but did not give any details about it.
Domestic violence in the Haight family
On Tuesday, January 18, officers released detailed findings on the Haight family to repeated requests from local media. In this way, journalists obtained access to police documents related to the investigation that was conducted against Michael Haight in August 2020. According to the local “Desert News”, they show that 15-year-old Macie, the man’s eldest daughter, decided to apply for help to the services at that time. From her written account, it appears that the girl fell victim to both physical and psychological abuse on the part of her father three times.
The first incident occurred in 2017. Macie testified that her father “went mad at her and grabbed her by the shoulders, then shook her and she hit her head against the wooden part of the back of the sofa.” The teenager “was scared” but was not injured. The second attack took place a year later. The man allegedly “grabbed his daughter by the neck and started choking her” when they were in the kitchen. The third event Macie reported happened just a few weeks before she reported the matter to the authorities. Then Michael Haight once again “shake his daughter’s body, holding her by the shoulders”.
Utah. He wasn’t arrested, he killed the whole family
The report said the man initially denied attacking his daughter when he spoke to police. He explained that sometimes he just “loses his patience and yells at the kids”. Later, he changed his testimony a bit – he emphasized that Macie is “saucy and he is angry with her”, but “if he really did the things described, they were not meant to be attacks”.
Haight’s eldest daughter also mentioned that the father used to take away his wife Tausha’s phone so she “couldn’t leave the house.” He also allegedly said that his wife was “lazy”. Michael Haight did not admit to insulting Tausha, but stated that he took her iPad for a few days “to go through her messages”.
The police officers who intervened in the Haight house in August 2020 decided not to arrest the man. “I told Michael that his behavior was very close to violence (…) I advised him to see someone to talk about his anger” – this is how one of the officers described the conversation with the man in the report. He added that Michael’s wife had stated that she did not think it would be appropriate to press charges against her husband in this situation.
Main photo source: Tausha Haight/Facebook