Thursday, April 07, 2011

Loleta mom remains behind bars; bail in manslaughter case set at $150K UPDATE: Charges dismissed

Loleta mom remains behind bars; bail in manslaughter case set at $150K
Maggie Jean Wortman, 26, appeared in court Wednesday after being arrested last week when a probation drug screening came back positive for methamphetamine. Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson ruled Wednesday that Wortman be held on $150,000 bail and pending a probation hold recommended by the Probation Department.

Appearing to tread delicately around a sensitive issue, Lee said Wortman admitted in a pre-booking interview at the jail last week to possibly having a “substantial medical condition” that may have led the Probation Department to believe her release would pose a “danger to other people.”

”That situation has proven not to be true,” Lee told the court, adding that the Probation Department's recommendation might change now that it is known Wortman is “not, in fact, pregnant.”

Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel said that information should not change the court's decision regarding whether to release Wortman on her own recognizance or lower her bail.

”She is on felony probation and continues to engage in felonious conduct,” Neel told the court.

UPDATE: ◼ Judge dismisses murder charge against Loleta woman - Thadeus Greenson/Times Standard

A Humboldt County judge has dismissed the murder charge facing a Loleta mother accused of killing her baby with methamphetamine-laced breast milk last year.

In a ruling filed Wednesday, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson threw out the murder charge against Maggie Jean Wortman, 27, finding that no evidence was presented at the case's preliminary hearing to establish that Wortman knew she was endangering her infant son's life when she breastfed him after allegedly smoking methamphetamine.

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