Hearing for mom in boiling puppies case ‘mistakenly’ closed

New Mexico

This undated photo released by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office shows Martha Crouch. The New Mexico woman is facing charges she beat and tortured her children and forced them to watch her kill their pets. Martha and her husband Timothy Crouch of Aztec, N.M., were arrested Monday, June 24, 2019. Court records show they have not been assigned public defenders yet. Documents also say they had prior complaints in Missouri, Alaska, Kansas and Montana. (San Juan County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — A court official says a New Mexico district judge mistakenly kept the public from a hearing involving a New Mexico woman accused of forcing her children to watch her kill their pets.

The Farmington Daily Times reports an Eleventh Judicial District Court administrator said last week it was a mistake for a district judge to close a public hearing for Martha Crouch.

An Aug. 14 hearing at Aztec District Court on Crouch’s possible release was closed.

Eleventh Judicial Court executive officer Weldon Neff says District Judge Curtis Gurley viewed two of her cases as “inextricably” linked or impossible to separate and it was a mistake to close the public hearing.

A daughter told authorities the 54-year-old Crouch boiled puppies and poisoned a kitten as punishment.

She has pleaded not guilty.

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Information from: The Daily Times, http://www.daily-times.com

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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