Baltimore, Maryland: On Wednesday, November 30, Maryland Circuit Court Judge James Bonifant ruled that Catherine Hoggle is unfit to stand trial for the suspected murder of her two children back in 2014.
The bodies of 3-year-old Sarah Hoggle and 2-year-old Jacob Hoggle were never recovered. They are presumed dead.
As a result of the ruling, Hoggle was committed to a maximum-security psychiatric hospital for continued treatment.
Initially Hoggle was charged with abduction and neglect, but in 2017, she was charged with first-degree murder.
She has most recently been receiving care at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital in Jessup, Maryland and at some point was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
During the hearing Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy attempted to point to varying determinations, explaining that it was the state's belief that Hoggle was misleading psychiatrists about her mental fitness.
"Over the past eight years, Ms. Hoggle had been established by the doctors at the hospital, close to 30 times as being incompetent to stand trial," McCarthy stated. At Clifton T. Ferguson however, the doctors did not at any time "find her competent to stand trial for as long as she has been there."
As a result of the judge's ruling, charges against Hoggle were dropped.
"As long as I am State's Attorney," McCarthy said, "it would be my intent that if she is safe to be returned to the community, the circumstances would be such that we would recharge her, even if we have to revisit the issue of competency again."