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Wtf this is not right

Posted by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 3:49 PM
  • 20 Replies

 

DENVER -- A 3-year-old girl was found alone on Arapahoe Road after dark by a passing driver, who says the little girl was sobbing for her mother because she thought her mother was dead. 

But Tabatha Martinez wasn’t dead; she was passed out in a nearby ditch with a blood alcohol level of 0.402 -- four times the legal limit.

The 31-year-old mother was arrested by the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department, convicted of child abuse and sentenced to 20 days in jail.


So why did a Denver County judge rule she would get custody of her child back when she got out of jail?

That’s the question our FOX31 News investigation tried to answer.

The child’s father, Lucas Merklin, contacted FOX 31 News for help after Denver County Magistrate Elizabeth Leith ruled Tabatha would continue to have 50-50 custody of the couple's daughter after she served her jail time.

Merklin says he made Magistrate Leith aware of the child abuse conviction in Arapahoe County and repeatedly warned her about Tabatha’s ongoing alcohol problem.   “I’ve let the courts know over and over again she has an alcohol problem and Judge Leith has done nothing,” Merklin said.

Merklin says he asked Magistrate Leith to mandate supervised visits until Tabatha can get her “alcohol problem" under control, but he says Magistrate Leith wouldn’t listen.

FOX31 News attempted to ask Magistrate Leith why she ruled Tabatha would get unrestricted custody, but Magistrate Leith wouldn’t answer our question.

Instead Magistrate Leith hid from our cameras in her chambers.  

She eventually came out just long enough to tell us “the law prohibits her from talking about the case.”

But according to Magistrate Leith’s written decision obtained by FOX 31 News, Leith stated that she “does not find (Tabatha) is a present danger to the child…and does not find an order restricting her contact with the child is necessary or appropriate.”

We caught up with Tabatha Martinez the day she had to turn herself into the Arapahoe County Jail. She did not want to comment.

But the child’s father is speaking out because he’s afraid of what could happen when Tabatha regains custody.

“That’s my job as a man and as a father to protect my child and if the system can’t help me then what do I do?" said Merklin.  "This is the only child I have; I just want what’s best for her.”

Tabatha Martinez was released from jail and has not yet contacted the father about getting custody of their daughter, but when she does Lucas Merklin is under a Denver County court order to turn the child over to her mother.

Tabatha is required by the Arapahoe County courts to take parenting classes and have alcohol and drug evaluation and treatment.

 

by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 3:49 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mom2jaymeenella
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 3:56 PM

BUMP!

Gastromama2007
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 3:56 PM
*speechless*
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
genemommy09
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 3:57 PM
I watched it last night...... the fact alone that she is only having to do 20 days is ridiculous a man would have been given something more like 6 months plus having to go threw a extensive treatment course before even the thought of having unsupervised visits was discussed..... And this so called MOTHER has been out of jail for over 2 WEEKS now an has yet to even try to contact her child in any way.....SHE obviously doesn't want to be a mother or care about her child!! Its outrageous .....that baby girl is so lucky to have such a caring father
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
KBix
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:00 PM
Wow I feel for that father.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
mom2jaymeenella
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:01 PM

 Exactly I grew up with the dad he was like a big brother to me so i cried listening and I want to help him fight I have put a message into his sister see if we can do something I will seriously go stand on the street and get petition signed.

Quoting genemommy09:

I watched it last night...... the fact alone that she is only having to do 20 days is ridiculous a man would have been given something more like 6 months plus having to go threw a extensive treatment course before even the thought of having unsupervised visits was discussed..... And this so called MOTHER has been out of jail for over 2 WEEKS now an has yet to even try to contact her child in any way.....SHE obviously doesn't want to be a mother or care about her child!! Its outrageous .....that baby girl is so lucky to have such a caring father

 

mom2twins9909
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:03 PM

wow

mom2jaymeenella
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:15 PM

BUMP!

Miss-B
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:17 PM


Quoting KBix:

Wow I feel for that father.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
xxLukesMamaxx
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Aww that is really sad. Why would they let that lady have that little girl? Crazy!!!! 

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