State’s attorney, defense react to ruling in Catherine Hoggle case

I-270

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — A judge has ruled against dismissing murder charges in the case of Catherine Hoggle and her two missing children, Sarah and Jacob. The decision came out Thursday evening.

Both the State and Catherine Hoggle’s defense presented their arguments in a hearing for the motion to dismiss murder charges in the case of her two missing children earlier this month.

In the state of Maryland, if a defendant facing felony charges is found incompetent to stand trial for five years, those charges can be dropped.

The question at hand was when those five years began. Days later, Judge Robert Greenberg ruled in favor of the State’s argument, a decision Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy was pleased with.

“It was a very thoughtful, reasoned opinion. I was very grateful that the judge found, as we argued in court, that we had an additional two years to restore Ms. Hoggle to competency. I think, quite candidly, the judge got it right,” McCarthy said Friday morning.

Hoggle’s defense attorney, David Felsen, tells us about his response to the ruling.

“We’re disappointed, we think that Judge Greenberg is a very considered jurist. He obviously spent a lot of time going through the issues. He anticipates that one side or the other or maybe both will be noting an appeal,” Felsen said in an interview Friday.

He’s evaluating the judge’s order, and he’s not sure whether an appeal is in the cards at this time.

“I don’t know if we’re going to do that. Whoever wishes to appeal would need to note that in 30 days in writing. That would go initially, at least, to the Court of Special Appeals,” said Felsen.

Going forward, both parties and the judge are expected to further discuss the possibility of whether Hoggle can ever be restored to competence, and ultimately, stand trial.

“I think that we’re going to continue addressing issues of psychiatry, but in a different context, not just in the here and now, but looking back at the time the crime allegedly occurred,” McCarthy said.

A request for comment from Sarah and Jacob Hoggle’s father was not immediately returned.

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