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State’s Attorney to Seek Independent Psych Evaluation for Hoggle, After She is Once Again Found Not-

Prosecutors in the Catherine Hoggle case are attempting to step up pressure on Catherine Hoggle in Montgomery County District Court on Monday morning. Hoggle was in court for a status hearing, and for a fifth time in 18 months, she was found to be not competent to stand trial. State’s Attorney John McCarthy is not asking the court’s permission to bring in another independent doctor to evaluate Hoggle’s mental competency.

Hoggle has been at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center and is 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 will move the case from the District Court to the Circuit Court, but those charges have yet to be filed.

In court in Rockville, McCarthy argued to Judge John C. Moffett that the findings of the doctors at Clifton T. Perkins run counter to the beliefs and observations which Hoggle’s husband, mother, and aunt, put forth in signed affidavits submitted to the court. As such, McCarthy is asking the court for permission to have Hoggle’s mental competency evaluated by an independent doctor to challenge the findings of the doctors at Clifton T. Perkins.

In an unusual move, for a status hearing, McCarthy asked Troy Turner, the father of the missing children, informally address the court with information from a phone conversation with Catherine Hoggle. Defense attorney David Felson objected to Turner bearing witness in court at a hearing without being under oath and having to undergo cross-examination.

However, Moffatt allowed McCarthy and Turner to proceed. Turner told the court that in a phone conversation with Hoggle, she stated that had done the math based on the charges against her and the time she has already been in Perkins if she stays non-competent it is better for her. She would rather be at the hospital than in jail.

Felson told the court that the State’s Attorney was putting faith in an argument in which lay people, with an expressed bias, say that they know Hoggle better than the treating doctors and staff. He pointed out that up until now, the State did not have any problems with the conclusions of the evaluating doctors, but now the State is challenging those conclusions based on information from lay people.

Judge Moffett set an inquiry hearing date for Monday, April 25 at 9:00 am in Montgomery County District Court. He said the State may make a motion for an additional psychiatric evaluation, and expects the authors of the three affidavits to be d