Judge declines to dismiss charges against mother accused of killing her children

Judge declines to dismiss charges against mother accused of killing her children

Hoggle previously found incompetent to stand trial for 2014 disappearance of son, daughter

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Hoggle resized

Catherine Hoggle

File photo

A judge denied a motion to dismiss felony charges against a woman accused of killing her two children more than five years ago. The woman previously was found incompetent to stand trial.

Catherine Hoggle, 33, was charged with murdering two of her children, Jacob and Sarah, who disappeared in September 2014 when they were ages 2 and 3, respectively. The children have never been found.

Hoggle was initially charged with child neglect and hindering a police investigation, but was charged with two counts of murder in September 2017.

Hoggle, who has paranoid schizophrenia, has been ruled incompetent to stand trial multiple times since her arrest five years ago. She has been held at the Clifton T. Perkins Center, a psychiatric hospital in Jessup.

State law mandates that felony charges be dismissed five years after a defendant is found incompetent.

Prosecutors have argued that Hoggle could still be restored to competency, and that the deadline for when the murder charges can be dismissed is Dec. 1, 2022 — five years after she was ruled incompetent the second time.

The defense has said the deadline passed last month, the five-year anniversary of the first time she was ruled incompetent in January 2015.

Last week, Montgomery County Circuit Judge Robert Greenberg said he would issue a written opinion in the case on whether the murder charges should be dismissed.

State court records show Greenberg denied the motion to dismiss the charges on Thursday.

“We appreciate the court’s consideration and we respect the court’s decision,” defense attorney David Felsen said in an interview. “We’re evaluating the court’s order and will take appropriate steps in the near future,”

Felsen said he has the right to appeal the decision.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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