Sarah and Jacob Hoggle disappeared nearly three years ago, on September 7, 2014. Their mother, Catherine Hoggle, is the last known person to have seen the children.
The 30-year-old mother was arrested on three misdemeanor charges — parental abduction, neglect, and hindering or obstructing the investigation. And though police suspect that Hoggle killed her children, they have not disclosed whether they have definitive proof.
But as the three-year mark approaches — she was charged on Sept. 15, 2014 — those charges may be dropped.
According to WTOP, a Maryland statute states:
[U]nless a defendant is charged with a felony or a crime of violence, misdemeanor charges must be dismissed after three years.
Both sides are aware of the statute, which is why prosecutors called for a competency hearing on August 31. At the hearing, Hoggle’s attorney, David Felsen, asked that the charges against her be dropped.
Please write to any national media outlet and ask them to broadcast our story. You can do so through their Facebook or…
Hoggle was first ruled incompetent to stand trial in January 2015. At that time, she was checked into the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup, Maryland. She attempted to escape from the maximum security facility numerous times.
And while Hoggle does have a history of mental illness, prosecutors called for the competency hearing in an attempt to answer the question as to whether the woman is actually incompetent to take part in court proceedings or whether her illness truly is a facade. They wonder whether she is manipulating it in order to get out of a potential life sentence.
The prosecutors on the case, John McCarthy and Ryan Wechsler, believe the latter. The Washington Post reported that in court papers they wrote:
The defendant believes that if she can continue to be found incompetent, after a period of time, the court will release her back into the community.
The prosecutors filed affidavits from Hoggle’s ex-boyfriend and other family members, who claim that “Hoggle is faking incompetency.”
Please be on the lookout for Jacob Hoggle, 2 year old male, his sister, Sarah Hoggle, 3 year old female, and their…
However, doctors at the hospital say otherwise. Last year, psychiatrist Danielle Robinson wrote:
On the unit she is isolative and guarded, and spends most of her time intently observing her surroundings while sitting in the dayroom.
And just last month, Robinson reaffirmed this initial statement, writing:
She has a poor understanding of most legal concepts including the purpose of a trial, the roles of courtroom personnel, her plea options and the role of evidence.
At the latest hearing, prosecutors requested her latest evaluation from the doctors at Perkins. According to WTOP:
In court, the judge said Hoggle’s treatment team found she remains unable to assist in her own defense, even though they believe she can be restored to competency.
The judge set up a court date to hear the defendant’s motion on Sept. 15.
Troy Turner, the children’s father, is not letting Hoggle get off so easily. He said that even if she gets off on the misdemeanor charges, subsequent charges will come:
“My understanding is we’re going to go forward with homicide charges, so it’s not like she’s gonna walk on the 15th.”
He added that prosecutors “feel like they have a strong case, even without bodies.”
Even if all charges are dropped, if Hoggle is still considered a danger to herself or others, she could continue to be contained at Perkins Hospital.