Catherine Hoggle, accused of killing her children, won’t get independent mental evaluation

A circuit judge in Montgomery County, Maryland, has denied a prosecutors’ request to allow an independent doctor to evaluate Catherine Hoggle, after almost five years of determinations by doctors at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital found her incompetent to stand trial in the killings of her two children.

Court records show Judge Robert Greenberg denied the motion filed by the Montgomery County state’s attorney.

In Hoggle’s last court appearance in March, Assistant State’s Attorney Ryan Wechsler told the judge that doctors at Perkins — the state psychiatric hospital — were doing “a substandard job in evaluating Ms. Hoggle.”

At that hearing, defense attorney David Felsen said prosecutors don’t get to choose their own doctor if they don’t like the first doctor’s conclusion.

In District Court in 2016, while Hoggle was facing misdemeanor charges related to her children’s disappearance, Judge Eugene Wolfe denied a prosecution request for an independent psychiatric evaluation.

“Even though there’s no authority, we want to pick our own doctor,” Felsen said, sarcastically. “They don’t like the results — there’s no indication that [the Perkins finding] isn’t proper.”

Sarah Hoggle was 3 years old when she disappeared, and Jacob Hoggle was 2 years old. The last person to see them was their mother.

Hoggle’s next competency hearing is set for June 10.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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