Judge dismisses case against Detroit mom who resisted police in standoff

March 15, 2014 in News by The Manimal

Source: Detroit News

A judge has dismissed the 3-year-old case against a Detroit mother who barricaded herself and her teenage daughter in a west side home for 12 hours from police and state welfare workers in an attempt to stop them from giving her child an anti-psychotic medication.

36th District Judge Ronald Giles ruled Friday the Detroit Police actions were unlawful and that Maryanne Godboldo had a right to resist the unlawful entry into her home.

“The defendant had a common law right to resist,” said Giles. “The defendant did use reasonable force and did not use deadly force to resist removal of her child by the Detroit Police Department.”

After he announced his verdict, Godboldo’s supporters applauded and hugged.

Godboldo, 59, was arrested in March 2011 for discharging a weapon, assault and other charges. Police said she fired a warning shot inside her home. The charges were dismissed by a district judge whose decision was upheld in county circuit court. The state appeals court ordered the charges reinstated after prosecutors appealed the dismissal.

The Wayne County prosecutor plans to appeal Giles’ ruling.

“We appealed Judge Giles’ ruling dismissing the case before and prevailed, as a result, and the case was remanded for the judge to rule today,” said Maria Miller, the spokeswoman for Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. “We disagree with the judge’s dismissal of the case, and we will be appealing the ruling to the Wayne County Circuit Court.”

Defense attorney Byron Pitts, Godboldo’s co-counsel, said the incident was “not just an arrest but a home invasion.”

But Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Laura Weingarten argued in court Friday that Godboldo saw the squad cars and police officers who arrived at her home.

“She knew why they were there,” said Weingarten. “There is no evidence the defendant believed this was a home invasion.”

Godboldo said she was trying to prevent child welfare workers from giving her daughter the medication Risperdal. State officials maintained the girl was at risk without proper medication.

Meanwhile, Godboldo filed a lawsuit against Wayne County and several court officials Wednesday in federal court, alleging her constitutional rights were violated in the matter.