Mom charged with boiling pets found competent to stand trial

February 26, 2020 GMT

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico woman facing charges she beat and tortured her children and forced them to watch her kill their pets has been found competent to stand trial.

State District Court Judge Curtis Gurley recently found Martha Crouch, 54, competent to stand trial and ordered her case remanded to a magistrate court for further action, the Farmington Daily Times reports.

Crouch had been committed to the forensic unit of the New Mexico Health Institute to attain competency. A date was not listed on Gurley’s order for when the defendant was committed.

Crouch was arrested in June after a daughter told authorities stories of physical and emotional abuse. She said her mother boiled puppies and poisoned a kitten as punishment.

Crouch was charged with child abuse and extreme cruelty to animals. She has pleaded not guilty.

Eric Morrow, Crouch’s attorney, told The Daily Times the court process had limited her ability to show her innocence, and she will be able to prove her innocence during an upcoming trial.

He also described the extreme cruelty to animals charge as outrageous.