MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Update: Montgomery County judge Robert Greenberg will release a written decision on whether to dismiss murder charges against Catherine Hoggle. There was no defined time and date for the decision to be made public.
Greenberg was expected to rule on the motion Tuesday afternoon but now is not expected to make a decision for several days or even weeks, citing the weight of his decision.
The decision comes down to his interpretation of Maryland law and a statute regarding competency. It’s a new issue, one that hasn’t been decided in a state courtroom yet.
Hoggle is charged in the murder of her children Sarah and Jacob. She was indicted after her children, ages 2 and 3, went missing back in September 2014. She has been found incompetent to stand trial over the last five years.
Under Maryland law, five years of incompetence is grounds for dismissal of felony charges.
After the hearing, her defense attorney David Felsen said, “She’s been held for five years. The state is not without remedy, in terms of the ability to recharge, but it leads us to this indictment. The statute is pretty clear we think, that the case needs to be dismissed.”
The judge will decide when those five years started and when they will end.
“My position and the position of my office is that we have until December 1, 2022. At that time if Ms. Hoggle is not restored to competency, the issue of restorability would be ripe– but it’s premature to do that now,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
Troy Turner, Sarah and Jacob Hoggle’s father, spoke in court before the judge and the dozens who showed up in support of him before the hearing. He says it was the first time Sarah and Jacob have had a voice in the courtroom.
“In some ways, it felt very heavy. In other ways, it felt like I was freeing parts of them. I don’t really know to explain it. It’s almost easier to explain what it was like not hearing their names in court for the last five years,” said Turner.
Family and friends of her two missing children met outside the Montgomery County Courthouse ahead of the ruling, praying for justice. (VIDEO BELOW)