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Judge Rules Hoggle Still Not Competent to Stand Trial

A Montgomery County District Court Judge ruled that Catherine Hoggle was still not yet competent to stand trial on child neglect charges stemming from the disappearance of her two young children in September of 2014.

Judge James Sarsfield ruled that Hoggle was still not competent to participate in her defense of the charges after reading the report of the doctors at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center and interviewing Hoggle in court Friday morning. He ordered another status hearing in the case to determine if Hoggle’s mental condition improves. The hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 23.

Hoggle is currently facing misdemeanor charges of child neglect and obstructing and hindering an investigation after going missing in Germantown with her two young children, Jacob and Sarah, in September of 2014. The children remain missing and Montgomery County Police and the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office are pursuing homicide charges against Hoggle which move the case from the District Court to the Circuit Court, but those charges have yet to be filed.

Hoggle appeared in court in Rockville in handcuffs and escorted by officers from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department. She wore street clothes, a black blazer, eyeglasses, with her hair pulled back out of her face. She stood before the judge and answered his questions.

Judge Sarsfield asked Hoggle if she knew what crime she was being charged with and why she was in court. She answered saying, “For the charge of neglect and hindering processes and that is it.” Judge Sarsfield then asked if she knew who the subject of the charges were. “Myself and my children,” said Hoggle. Judge Sarsfield asked if she knew how many children. “Two,” said Hoggle.

At this point Judge Sarsfield asked how she felt her treatment was going. “It is going well,” said Hoggle. “I go by the medications and participate in the exercises and in ward activities.”

The judge then asked if Hoggle understood the possible outcomes or consequences of proceeding with a trial. “I could get jail time,” responded Hoggle.

Judge Sarsfield then asked Hoggle if she thought that she was competent enough to stand trial. Hoggle responded by saying, “I think I am competent because I understand what is going on and the role of the judge and the prosecutors, and attorneys and everything.”

The judge encouraged Hoggle to “be fully compliant with the treatment so that these charges can move forward.”

After the hearing, Lindsey Hoggle, Catherine’s mother said that she was