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Plea deal rejected: Man will go to trial for allegedly pouring hot oil on sleeping woman, baby

michael maloney.jpeg
Posted at 10:39 AM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 10:39:48-04

HAMILTON, Ohio — A man accused throwing hot oil on a woman and baby as they slept in a Hamilton home rejected a plea deal Wednesday morning, and will go to trial in June.

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.

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

The trial is now set for June 28.

Maloney was expected to change his plea to guilty as charged when he was in court Wednesday. It was going to be in exchange for the repeat violent offender specification being removed from the charges.

“It is my understanding at one point in time Mr. Maloney was willing to enter a guilty plea in exchange for the remover of the RVO status,” Stephens said. ”It is my understanding today your client has changed his mind about said offering, therefore we have a trial date of June 28.”

The judge made it clear there would be no further plea negotiations.

If convicted, Maloney will be designated a repeat violent offender because he was previously convicted of voluntary manslaughter. The RVO specification can add up to 10 additional years to a prison sentence.

Defense Attorney Chad Peck said his client wants to go to trial. He declined additional comment after the hearing.

The injured woman, Jayla Witt, called dispatchers about 7:50 a.m. that December morning, 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 Police said 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,” Sgt. Richard 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.

Witt and her baby are continuing to recover from their injuries.

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