The judge had hoped a competency evaluation of a woman accused of leaving her baby alone in an alley would be completed by Friday. But the child endangerment case was continued for a week as officials wait on the evaluation.
The continuance came Friday in Leavenworth County District Court in the case of Elizabeth A. Michaud. She is charged with 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’s attorney, Elaine Halley, requested earlier this month that her client undergo a competency evaluation. Michaud was in court Wednesday but an order for the evaluation had not yet been filed.
District Judge Gunnar Sundby had scheduled Friday’s court appearance with the hope that the evaluation could be completed by then.
A doctor who planned to conduct the evaluation apparently was unable to make it Thursday to the jail where Michaud is in custody.
During Wednesday’s court appearance, Halley indicated her client wanted to enter a plea.
Sundby asked Friday if the defense wished to withdraw the request for the evaluation.
Halley said the request to enter the plea had been against her advice and was her client’s wish. The attorney asked to be allowed to schedule the evaluation. She also requested that Michaud be released from the Leavenworth County Jail as she awaits the evaluation.
Halley said the case was “presumptive probation,” which means her client likely would be sentenced to probation if she’s convicted.
Assistant County Attorney Joan Lowdon, who appeared for the prosecution, objected to Michaud being released on her own recognizance.
Lowdon said Michaud had failed to show up for court in the past. The prosecutor also said the defendant had left a treatment program and then didn’t follow through with making arrangements to return.
Sundby said he was concerned because Michaud’s behavior has been somewhat indicative of a person with problems.
The judge said he wanted to see if the defendant’s failure to report and follow through were related to competency or the result of other issues.
“I would like to get that evaluation done,” he said.
Sundby said he couldn’t agree to releasing Michaud on her own recognizance.
He continued the case until Dec. 28. He said he would contact a local mental health center to make sure the evaluation is completed a quickly as possible.