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Murder charges against Maryland mother could be dropped

February 19, 2020 GMT

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — A Maryland judge is weighing whether to dismiss murder charges against a woman who has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial in the deaths of two of her children.

Montgomery County Judge Robert Greenberg said Tuesday that he’ll decide within two weeks whether murder charges should be dropped against Catherine Hoggle. Two of her three children disappeared in September 2014 and haven’t been found. Hoggle was the last person known to be with the missing children, who were 2 and 3 at the time.

Police have said she’s refused to cooperate, and prosecutors have accused her of faking the extent of her mental illness. Over more than five years, she’s repeatedly been deemed not mentally competent for trial.


Maryland law mandates that charges must be dropped if a defendant continues to be classified as such after that period.

But State’s Attorney John McCarthy argued Tuesday that because she wasn’t formally indicted on murder charges until 2017, there’s still two more years left before those charges have to be dismissed.