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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Defendant asks to enter plea in child endangerment case

  • A Leavenworth woman accused of leaving her baby alone in an alley asked Wednesday to enter a plea in her child endangerment case. But she wasn't allowed to enter the plea because a competency evaluation was still pending.
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  • A Leavenworth woman accused of leaving her baby alone in an alley asked Wednesday to enter a plea in her child endangerment case. But she wasn't allowed to enter the plea because a competency evaluation was still pending.
    Elizabeth A. Michaud is scheduled to return to court Friday. District Judge Gunnar Sundby said he would ask if the competency evaluation could be completed ahead of the next court date.
    Michaud is charged aggravated endangering a child for allegedly leaving her infant son alone May 3 in an alley in Leavenworth.
    Authorities believe Michaud was under the influence of drugs or alcohol the night of the incident. Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens has estimated the baby was in the alley, which was a few blocks from Michaud's home, for at least three hours before he was found in a stroller by an area resident.
    Michaud appeared Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court with her attorney, Elaine Halley.
    "She informs me she wants to plead," Halley said of her client.
    A not guilty plea previously had been entered on Michaud's behalf.
    Sundby noted Wednesday that the case had been suspended because of a request for the competency evaluation.
    Nothing else can happen in the case until a determination has been made about whether Michaud is competent to stand trial.
    Halley had requested the competency evaluation Dec. 7 when Michaud was last in court. At the time, Sundby said he hoped the evaluation would be completed in time for Wednesday's hearing.
    The judge asked Wednesday if an order for the evaluation had been completed.
    Assistant County Attorney Sherri Becker, who was appearing for the prosecution, said it appeared an order had been prepared a day earlier but it had not yet been filed.
    Halley noted her client previously had been in a treatment program.
    Michaud reportedly walked out of the substance abuse treatment program Nov. 24. She then failed to show up for court Nov. 30.
    Michaud later told Sundby she had left the treatment program because one of her children was in an accident.
    Michaud now is being held in custody at the Leavenworth County Jail.
    "She is still willing to complete that treatment," Halley said Wednesday.
    The attorney suggested her client may be able to have the competency evaluation while she is in the treatment program.
    Sundby said he would continue the case until Friday and see if someone from the Guidance Center would be available to conduct the evaluation before the next hearing.
    The judge said he didn't know why the order for the evaluation had not been filed after the Dec. 7 court appearance.
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