Appeals Judge Denies Request to Dismiss Murder Charges Against Hoggle

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals Murder agreed with a lower court and refused to dismiss charges against Catherine Hoggle, charged with murdering her two young children, Sarah and Jacob Hoggle. The children were last seen in her care on Sept. 7, 2014.

She will remain committed and continue to be considered incompetent to stand trial until end of of 2022. If a trial isn’t held by December 2022, charges would be dropped, according to a 27-page ruling issued Sept. 1 by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

The appeal was filed following a Montgomery County Circuit Court ruling in 2020 that denied Hoggle’s motion to have charges dismissed. Under Maryland law, charges must be dropped within five years of someone found incompetent to stand trial unless a trial is held during that time.

Both the Circuit Court and the Court of Special Appeals agreed that the five-year clock did not begin when Hoggle was charged initially with misdemeanors. Instead, it was determined that the clock started three years later when the charges against her were upgraded to first degree murder.

According to the court document, a person charged with a felony or crime of violence and found incompetent to stand trial must have those charges dismissed within five years or have the maximum sentence imposed.

Hoggle was found incompetent to stand trial for murder on Dec. 1, 2017. At that time, the court found that due to a mental disorder, she was a danger to herself and others and needed to be committed to the Department of Health, according to a court document. She was last deemed incompetent to stand trial in August of 2019.

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