CNN BREAKING NEWS
Toogood Arraigned on Charges of Child Battery
Aired September 23, 2002 - 14:31 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: And now I am just getting word that that hearing is over surrounding Mary Ann (sic) Toogood, the mother caught on videotape beating her 4-year-old daughter.
Our Gary Tuchman is live in Indiana with the latest from there.
Gary, what do you know?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well I can tell you Kyra, it was a very fast arraignment.
Madelyne Toogood arraigned and the arraignment took four minutes, and it wasn't even all for her. Two of the minutes for her, and two of the minutes were for her sister, Margaret Daley. Her sister was the woman in that video with her. She was with a boy, her sister, and Madelyne Toogood was with her little daughter, 4-year-old Martha, the one that was beaten in the back of the seat.
But it only lasted two minutes. They didn't even get to issue a plea, her or her attorneys. The judge said, On behalf of you I'm going to issue a not guilty plea. And then he set a date of October 7 for a status hearing. So she'll appear in court again on October 7. And that was the entire arraignment. She is charged, Madelyne Toogood, with battery of her child. The possible maximum sentence: three years in prison. Her sister, Margaret Daley, has two charges against her: assisting a criminal act and not reporting child abuse. The maximum: six months in prison. She is coming back to court on September 30.
But what will likely happen now, as we told you earlier in the day, it is extremely unlikely that there will be a trial in this case. That's because Madelyne Toogood has already told us that she believes she is guilty of these charges. What it's likely her attorneys will do is try to arrange a plea bargain with prosecutors. And that's what they'll probably be doing, starting today, working on that, so by the time they get to their hearing on October 7, we may have a better idea of what the future of this 25-year-old woman is.
We don't know the future yet of her daughter. Her 4-year-old daughter is in foster care right now with a family here in St. Joseph County, Indiana, and the state says it doesn't know yet how long she will stay with that family.
So the arraignments are over. The next court date in October.
Kyra, back to you. PHILLIPS: Well, Gary, we received a lot of e-mail. A lot of people will want to know if indeed the mother, Mary Ann Toogood, will get the daughter back. Would Martha go back into her home, eventually, at one point? Is that possible?
TUCHMAN: It really depends what happens in this case. Obviously, if she's found guilty, it would make it much harder for her to get the child back. If she's found not guilty, of course, she would get the child back. But it doesn't look like there will be a trial. What it will come down to is the plea bargain, and part of the plea bargain will be deciding what happens to this child.
We should point out that Madelyne Toogood is not very happy that custody went to someone outside her family. She understood she would not get the child, but she was hoping her husband or her mother might get the child and that didn't happen.
PHILLIPS: All right. Gary Tuchman, thank you.
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