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PIOG WTf this is not right

Posted by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 3:53 PM
  • 6 Replies

 http://www.kdvr.com/news/kdvr-judge-says-mom-convicted-of-child-abuse-wont-lose-custody-20110208,0,702132.story

Link has the article and video

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 3:53 PM
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Replies (1-6):
mom2jaymeenella
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:02 PM

BUMP!

mom2jaymeenella
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:03 PM

BUMP!

jess80
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:03 PM

omg!!!!!!!!!!!!!wth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????ppl r freaking idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

chalisa0
by Kim on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:05 PM

 Oh my lord.  That poor little girl.  Screwed up judge needs to be fired or disbarred or something.

mom2jaymeenella
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:07 PM

BUMP!

babysyoungmom1
by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 4:19 PM
Omg sad :(
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