A judge has taken under advisement motions to dismiss aggravated burglary and custodial interference charges against four Californians charged with taking a 20-month-old boy from a Hooper home.
Second Circuit Judge Parley R. Baldwin said he would rule on the motions Dec. 9.During a preliminary hearing this week, Evelyn Neal testified she was asked last January to keep Carol Holleran's child, Eric, for an indefinite period. She said that request came from Neal's friend and the child's grandmother, Darla Jean Vea.
Vea said the arrangement was just until Holleran and the child's father, Robert Vea, could work out their domestic problems, said Neal. Neal said she was told the child's father was in jail and Holleran was living in a truck with her two daughters.
Holleran, Mrs. Vea, Robert Vea and Mark Vea, the child's uncle, were arrested Nov. 12 and charged with taking the child from Neal's home.
All four, who gave Garden Grove, Calif., as their home town, have been charged with felony aggravated burglary and custodial interference.
Neal said over the months she had Eric, there had been contact between herself, Holleran and Mrs. Vea and several times they were going to arrange to transport the child back to California, but there was never any follow-through.
Neal said she was concerned about the child going back to Holleran and eventually began court proceedings to obtain custody. She said she was given temporary custody of Eric by a juvenile court judge.
However, before a hearing was to be held on the matter, the Veas came to her home and took the child, she said.
Mrs. Vea's defense attorney, John Hutchinson, requested the charge of aggravated burglary be dropped against his client. He said the definition of an aggravated burglary had to include unlawful entry with the intent to assault.
He said the Veas' intent was to take the child, not to assault anyone.
Public Defender John Caine requested the aggravated burglary charge be dropped against Holleran because Neal said she had not entered the house with the Veas.
Caine also said the order by a juvenile court judge stated the child should not be moved but did not actually establish custody, and therefore his client should not be charged with custodial interference.
Defense attorneys requested release of the four on their own recognizance.
Baldwin released Mrs. Vea and Holleran but requested additional information on Mark and Robert Vea.