Newspaper obituary heaped praise on the Utah father accused of killing his family

WORLD

A newspaper obituary that offered a glowing tribute to a Utah man accused. The paper’s apologetic publisher said Tuesday.

Michael Haight, 42, shot his wife, Tausha Haight, 40. His mother-in-law, Gail Earle, 78; and the couple’s five children, ages 4 to 17. Before she died by suicide this month, police said.

But a deleted obituary in The Spectrum painted a flattering picture. Michael Hite without mentioning the Jan. 4 murder-suicide.

Said that Haight “excelled in everything she did. And that she viewed each of her children as “a cherished miracle.”

Gannett, the owner of Spectrum, said in a statement.

“Spectrum has removed the obituary due to the circumstances. And regrets any inconvenience caused.”

A woman who answered the phone at Southern Utah Mortuary confirmed. That the funeral home handled services for Michael Hite. He declined to discuss what involvement the business had in writing the obituary.

Anti-gun violence advocate Shannon Watts posted the comment over the weekend. And flagged it to her 587,000 Twitter followers.

Watts said Tuesday he was overwhelmed by Haight’s praise.

“I was appalled that this man had a picture of him dying. And spoke eulogizing about him and didn’t mention. That his survivors didn’t include his wife and children — because he killed them,” Watts said.

“It whitewashed who he is. He’s a murderer, allegedly.”A newspaper obituary that offered. A glowing tribute to a Utah man accused of shooting seven members.  The paper’s apologetic publisher said Tuesday.

Michael Haight, 42, shot his wife, Tausha Haight, 40. His mother-in-law, Gail Earle, 78; and the couple’s five children, ages 4 to 17. Before she died by suicide this month, police said.

But a deleted obituary in The Spectrum painted a flattering picture. Michael Hite without mentioning the Jan. 4 murder-suicide.

The piece, which was not written by a newspaper staff member. Said that Haight “excelled in everything she did. And that she viewed each of her children as “a cherished miracle.”

Gannett, the owner of Spectrum, said in a statement that “bodies can be written. And deposited by funeral homes, as was the case here.”

“Spectrum has removed the obituary due to the circumstances. And regrets any inconvenience caused.”

A woman who answered the phone at Southern Utah Mortuary confirmed. That the funeral home handled services for Michael Hite. He declined to discuss what involvement the business had in writing the obituary.

Anti-gun violence advocate Shannon Watts posted the comment over the weekend. And flagged it to her 587,000 Twitter followers.

And didn’t mention that his survivors didn’t include his wife and children. Because he killed them,” Watts said.

“It whitewashed who he is. He’s a murderer, allegedly.”

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