Weather Updates

$600,000 bond for man charged in wife’s beating death

Taft Hayden is charged with murdering his wife their Country Club Hills home police said.  |  Country Club

Taft Hayden is charged with murdering his wife in their Country Club Hills home, police said. | Country Club Hills Police photo

storyidforme: 60048902
tmspicid: 21792309
fileheaderid: 10276633

Updated: February 3, 2014 4:15PM

Taft Hayden’s wife filed for divorce in November, court records show.

The next month, he killed her, authorities allege.

Hayden, 47, who is accused of killing Mary Hayden, was being held on $600,000 bail after a New Year’s Day court hearing before Cook County Judge Laura Marie Sullivan.

More than a dozen relatives listened in court as Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Camilo Oceguera told the judge that just after 8 a.m. last Sunday authorities arrived at the Hayden home in Country Club Hills and found Mary Hayden naked on the flood and cold to the touch, surrounded by broken glass. The couple’s two young children were in the home, in the 4500 block of West 179th Street, Oceguera said.

Taft Hayden had called 911 and told authorities his wife fell and wasn’t breathing, Oceguera said.

But the Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled the 42-year-old woman’s death a homicide after an autopsy found she died from blunt-force trauma to the head.

She had multiple skull fractures, Oceguera said, adding that the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy “determined the victim’s injuries were not consistent with the fall — a total of only three stairs.”

Taft Hayden’s lawyer, David F. Will, said Mary Hayden’s death was not the result of a violent act.

Authorities said there had been numerous domestic related calls to the home since 2007.

Oceguera also said Mary Hayden had filed for divorce and had been trying to serve her husband, but he had been “avoiding service.”

The Hayden family in court declined to comment.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.