New Mexico woman charged with boiling puppies again seeks jail release, will be evaluated
Child abuse includes physical, sexual, emotional and medical abuse, as well as neglect. Learn about signs, risk factors, how to get help. Wochit, Wochit
AZTEC — An area district judge ordered Pre-Trial Services to evaluate possible conditions of release for a woman accused of boiling puppies and abusing her teenage daughter.
Martha Crouch, 54, faces felony counts of child abuse and extreme cruelty to animals with a petty misdemeanor count of obstruction of investigation of child abuse, according to court documents.
A petition was filed in Aztec District Court on July 19 to review Aztec Magistrate Court Judge Barry Sharer's order denying modified conditions of release for Crouch during a hearing on July 11.
Aztec District Court Judge Curtis Gurley ordered the Eleventh Judicial District Court's Pre-Trial Services Program to evaluate Crouch during a court hearing on July 25, which lasted more than 90 minutes.
Gurley will make a decision regarding Crouch's conditions of release after receiving a report from Pre-Trial Services.
The court hearing
The ruling followed arguments made by the prosecution to continue to hold Crouch on her $50,000 cash at 10 percent as she is a flight risk.
Crouch's attorney, Scott Johnson, argued she should be released on an unsecured appearance bond or her own recognizance for reasons including she can't afford her bond.
Following the hearing, Johnston clarified he represents Crouch on the case regarding her conditions of release and not her criminal proceedings.
Crouch's bond was set during her first appearance in Aztec Magistrate Court on June 26 by Judge Trudy Reed-Chase. She has been incarcerated at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center since.
Crouch was accused by her 17-year-old daughter of abusing her, shooting her dog Pip and cooking multiple puppies in a pot on the stove of their Crouch Mesa home, according to court documents.
Defense: Crouch needs medical treatment
The arguments by the defense and the prosecution largely echoed the previous statements made during the July 11 hearing.
Witnesses were introduced by both sides, including Crouch's husband, Timothy P. Crouch, for the defense. He was also charged with a count of obstruction of investigation of child abuse, accused of helping his wife and their minor children evade an investigation by the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department.
Timothy Crouch testified that his wife was not receiving the treatment he believed she should be receiving for her medical conditions.
Court documents filed on behalf of Crouch state she is diagnosed with blood clots and hypoxemia, or low oxygen in the blood.
Timothy Crouch added one of his sons relayed the information to him and that he did not speak to anyone on the medical staff at the jail.
A medical administrator contracted for the jail testified the medical staff were unable to verify any of Martha's reported ailments from medical records, only verifying prescribed medications for the defendant.
She added Crouch is receiving her oxygen treatments on a nightly basis.
Husband disputes abuse allegations
Timothy Crouch also pushed back against accusations levied against his wife by his teenage daughter.
He stated the family gave away the puppies that were allegedly cooked on the family stove and the dog Pip was "put down" by a neighbor after it allegedly bit three people and was acting strange.
Her preliminary hearing in Aztec Magistrate Court has not been rescheduled since Judge Sharer vacated it on July 11.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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