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Mother charged with manslaughter for child's death

Posted on September 02, 2010 3:00 AM EST

A mother who negligently left her child in a car was arrested on the charge of manslaughter. The defendant appeared before a bond hearing judge on August 31, 2010, and was granted house arrest with the condition that she be allowed to obtain psychological treatment and attend the funeral of her young son. While the standard bond in this type of case is $10,000.00, bond hearing judges have the discretion to release defendants without requiring them to post a bond. Of course, this result will often depend on the facts of the case. The state argued that a $10,000 bond was reasonable, but the bond hearing judge felt that the defendant had suffered enough as a result of the loss of her son. The defendant was represented by a Miami criminal defense lawyer from the Miami-Dade County Public Defender's Office.

Maytee Martinez is charged with manslaughter for leaving her three year-old son in the back of her SUV, where the child was overcome by heat and suffocation. Martinez realized she had left the child in her SUV and called 911. When the police arrived, they found the boy "stiff, purple and not breathing." Despite the efforts of law enforcement and fire rescue, the child could not resuscitated. The defendant told the police that she had dropped off three other children at school, ran some errands, and failed to take the child out of the vehicle upon returning home. Many family members and friends appeared at the bond hearing to show their support. Despite her criminal past, the court ordered her release.

Martinez has been arrested in the past on charges including battery on the elderly and misdemeanor battery. Courts records indicate that the battery on the elderly arrest stemmed from an incident where she allegedly shoved her elderly mother an aunt when demanding money. A check of those arrests revealed that all of those cases were dropped due to a lack of victim cooperation. The Florida Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) acknowledged that the defendant has previously been involved in the system, but could not provide information due to confidentiality. This is the second case in South Florida in a month involving the death of child being left unintended in a vehicle.

Most felony cases require that a defendant post a bond. Remember, if you cannot afford a bond, there are alternative ways to secure a person's release from jail. First, a judge can grant a defendant pre-trial services. Defendants with limited criminal histories that are charged with minor felony offense will be given the opportunity to get out jail. A bond will not be required to be posted, but the defendant will need to be interviewed and will have to report at least once every two weeks to a pre-trial release supervisor. Pre-trial services are a little more onerous in this respect because individuals out on bond do not have to report to anyone. Another option is house arrest with a bracelet. While no money has to be posted up front, a defendant is jailed inside his home, but he or she can attend work and go to school as long as permission has been granted. However, the fees and cost of house arrest can be expensive easily exceeding $100 a month. In sum, the best way to secure one's release prior to trial is to post a bond, but if resources are limited there are other alternatives.

Mother Accused in Son's Death Gets House Arrest, CBS4.com, August 31, 2010.
Categories: Bond Hearings