GERMANTOWN, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - A tense meeting is expected Tuesday at the Montgomery County courthouse, where another competency hearing is scheduled for the Maryland mother, police say, murdered her two young children in 2014.
For the past five years, a judge has repeatedly ordered Catherine Hoggle “not competent to stand trial.” But unlike other hearings, this time her attorney will ask the judge to dismiss the case and release her.
Troy Turner, the missing children’s father, is furious Sarah and Jacob Hoggle’s mother may be let go without ever having to answer: what happened to their children?
“Maybe she doesn’t walk that day but if she’s manipulating the system, you know, the way that we suspect, and people around her in six to 18 months she’ll be not dangerous, the civil commitments going, now she’s out walking around, empowered to do whatever she wants,” said Turner on Monday, “I think it’s a terrible thing that’s about to happen here tomorrow.”
Last month, Hoggle’s attorney filed a motion to have the two felony murder charges filed against the Montgomery County mother dismissed. Catherine Hoggle was the last person seen with her two children in 2014: a then 3-year-old Sarah and 2-year-old Jacob.
The felony murder charges came just a couple of years ago – so authorities could continue to hold and treat her with the goal of getting Hoggle to stand trial.
Hoggle’s attorney David Felsen says a statute exists that calls for the dismissal of felony charges if someone is found incompetent to stand trial and detained for five years. Felsen argues the first time Hoggle was found incompetent in 2015, is the start of that five-year timeframe.
“In the United States and specifically in Maryland, we don’t try people who can’t defend themselves and that’s what the statute deals with. The state’s attorney has a variety of options, all of which are left open to them. It’s not a matter of not doing justice. We are doing justice. If we were to not pay attention to the rules, how is that justice?” said Felsen.
Turner tells FOX 5, he is preparing to speak in court on Tuesday and said it will be the first time his children have a voice, if he is allowed to make a statement.
“You’re talking about setting a precedent to where victims have less rights than the people who have victimized them. We’re looking at a system that’s refusing to protect children,” Turner added.
Supporters of the family are planning a prayer vigil outside of the courthouse before the Tuesday hearing.