SUBSCRIBE NOW
$3 for 3 months. Save 90%.
SUBSCRIBE NOW
$3 for 3 months. Save 90%.

Woman charged with boiling puppies, child abuse found competent to stand trial

She was released from county jail on Jan. 30

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Martha Crouch, 54, is accused of a third-degree felony count of child abuse, a fourth-degree felony count of extreme cruelty to animals along with a misdemeanor count of obstruction of investigation of child abuse.
  • Eric Morrow, Crouch's attorney, told The Daily Times the court process has limited his client's ability to show her innocence.
  • Crouch's arraignment in Aztec District Court has not been scheduled yet.

FARMINGTON — A woman who is accused of abusing one of her daughters and boiling multiple puppies has been found competent to stand trial and has been released from jail after being incarcerated since June.

Martha Crouch, 54, is accused of a third-degree felony count of child abuse, a fourth-degree felony count of extreme cruelty to animals along with a misdemeanor count of obstruction of investigation of child abuse.

The defendant allegedly abused her 17-year-old daughter, killed multiple puppies and interfered with a New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department investigation, according to The Daily Times archives.

Eric Morrow, Crouch's attorney, told The Daily Times the court process has limited her ability to show her innocence and she will be able to prove her innocence during an upcoming trial.

He also described the extreme cruelty to animals charge as outrageous.

Timeline of events

Martha Crouch waves to family members before her preliminary hearing in Aztec Magistrate Court on July 11 in Aztec.

Crouch allegedly boiled multiple puppies in a pressure cooker, according to court documents.

District Court Judge Curtis Gurley found Crouch competent to stand trial and ordered her case remanded to Aztec Magistrate Court for further action, according to a Jan. 23 order.

Crouch had been committed to the forensic unit of the New Mexico Health Institute to attain competency. A date was not listed on Judge Gurley's order for when the defendant was committed.

Files for state district court competency dockets are typically sealed. The case was transferred from magistrate court to district court on July 11.

Aztec Magistrate Court Judge Barry Sharer released Crouch from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on Jan. 30 on Pretrial Services "PML 4," which requires weekly check-ins for the defendant and reminders before court hearings.

Judge Gurley had ordered the pre-trial services office to evaluate Crouch during a July 25 hearing.

The defendant had been incarcerated since she was arrested by the San Juan County Sheriff's Office on June 24.

Earlier coverage:  Woman charged with boiling puppies again seeks jail release

Lawyers for Crouch have filed multiple motions to change her conditions of release after that was initially set to $50,000 cash at 10 percent.

Judge Sharer denied a motion on July 11 to reduce the bond and it was later reduced on Aug. 19 to $30,000 cash at 10 percent by Judge Gurley, according to The Daily Times archives.

Crouch was set for a Jan. 30 preliminary hearing in Aztec Magistrate Court, but the hearing was reset for Feb. 5.

Related:Bond reduced for woman charged with boiling puppies, child abuse

A preliminary hearing for Crouch was held, and Judge Sharer bound over all three charges in the case to state district court, according to court documents.

Crouch's arraignment in Aztec District Court has not been scheduled yet.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e