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Trial Set for Woman Accused of Drowning Grandson on SGI

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

APALACHICOLA, Fla. (AP) - August 17, 2012 -

A new trial date has been set for an elderly German woman accused of drowning her 5-year-old grandson in bathtub while they vacationed in the Florida Panhandle.

Attorneys met privately with Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey on Friday to discuss a possible plea deal for 73-year-old Marianne Bordt. The attorneys weren't able to settle the case, so Dempsey scheduled jury selection for Oct. 24.

The case initially had been set for trial last month. The judge put it on hold, though, to give prosecutors more time to prepare a response to Bordt's insanity defense. Bordt faces a possible death sentence.

The victim, Camden Hiers of suburban Atlanta, died in a beach house on St. George Island in January 2010.

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July 30, 2012 - Noon -

The trial of a woman accused of drowning her grandson in a bathtub on St. George Island has been postponed.

Marianne Bordt's trial was scheduled to start today, but the trial is now expected to take place no sooner than October.

Judge Angela Dempsey said she had no choice but to postpone the trial, after the prosecution complained it had not had sufficient time to prepare a rebuttal to a last-minute defense witness.

Bordt is accused of drowning her 5-year-old American-born grandson in the bathtub of a St. George Island vacation home in January 2010.

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[UPDATE ] 11-18

Marianne Bordt, accused of drowning her grandson during a vacation to St. George Island, will have a court hearing on December 12th at 1:30pm. It is not known at this time if the Dec. 12th hearing will be in Apalachicola or Leon County.

On January 10, 2012, Bordt will have a case management hearing at 1:30pm in Apalachicola. The trial date will be set at this time.

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[UPDATE ] 10-31 at 6:15pm by Jerry Askin

A two day competency hearing has led a judge to find 72-year old Marianne Bordt ready to stand trial. A public defender spent Monday morning trying to convince the judge that Bordt is not ready.

"She doesn't understand the fifth amendment. She thinks I get to decide whether she gets to testify. She thinks Mr. Myers is going to sentence her if she's found guilty," says Public Defender Andrew Thomas.

Bordt opted not to appear via video link for the hearing, saying she didn't want to be upset.

She's accused of drowning her grandson, five-year old Camden last January. It happened while the family was vacationing on St. George Island.

"She's indicated that she could receive the death penalty or life in prison. If she's convicted, those are the only two possibilities," says Assistant State Attorney Robin Myers.

State Attorney Robin Myers says Bordt only speaks German and that's been the biggest barrier, but he claims she's ready for trial. He says her post-traumatic stress and mental health have very little to do with her competency.

Forensic psychologist Dr. Harry McClarin evaluated Bordt three times while she was being held at Florida State Hospital. He ultimately found her not competent to stand trial.

He claims she has an incomplete understanding of the American justice system, doesn't fully understand her first-degree murder charges and does not appear to have a clear understanding of what truly happened to her grandson.

"Much more attention needs to be placed on some delusional thinking that she has, both through psychology and psychiatry," says forensic psychologist Dr. Harry McClarin.

But state experts who testified last week said Bordt is competent, understands the legal system and is ready for trial.

The parents of little Camden were not in court today. We did call his father and he says he's relieved the case against his former mother-in-law can resume and move forward.

Attorneys in the case are scheduled to be back in court on November 14th to schedule a trial date.
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[UPDATE] 10-31 - 11:30am -

The judge just found 72-year-old Marianne Bordt competent to stand trial. The judge agreed with the state that many people do not understand the court system and just because she has a language barrier or past mental illness does not mean she's incompetent.

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[UPDATE] 10-31 - 11am -

The court hearing for the woman accused of drowning her 5-year old grandson has began. Marianne Bordt has opted not to attend the hearing via video because she claims she didn't want the testimony to upset her.

Clinical forensic psychologist Dr. Harry McClarin is testifying now. He has spent over 55 hours evaluating Bordt for competency. He says Bordt has been through several traumatic events as a teenage girl. He says her father was a soldier and was killed In World War II. He claims she does not fully understand the American justice system or the first degree murder charges she's facing.

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[UPDATE] 10-31 - 9:50am -

A court hearing continues today for 72-year-old Marianne Bordt. She's accused of drowning her 5-year-old grandson in the bathtub last January.

It does not appear that Bordt herself will be In court today. A public defender has scheduled one final witness to testify this morning. A judge is scheduled to make a decision on whether or not Bordt will be competent enough to stand trial after the hearing.

The court hearing for Marianne Bordt has been moved to courtroom 2D at the Leon County Courthouse so that Bordt can join us via video from the Leon County Jail. The hearing has not started yet.

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[UPDATE] 10-28-2011 at 6:15pm by Jerry Askin

72-year old Marianne Bordt walked in the courtroom Friday with no emotion. She's charged with child abuse and first degree murder in the death of her grandson 5-year old Camden Hiers.

The incident happened last January while the family vacationed on St George Island.

"The fact that she was a German native and their court system is different from our system, it's important that she understands how our court system works," says Dr. Leslie Dellenbarge.

Psychologist Leslie Dellenbarge has evaluated Bordt since she was admitted to Florida State Hospital last December. Dellenbarge says Bordt is competent and ready for trial based on evaluations from May and August.

Private psychologist Greg Prichard also evaluated Bordt, finding her competent. He says Bordt understands what she could face criminally.

"Bordt is able to indicate her prospective punishments - which are life in prison or the death sentence per capital case. She's accurate and she cries when she talks about it," says Dr. Greg Prichard.

But, a public defender says Bordt is not competent to stand trial because she suffers from mental health disorders including major depression and delusions. He says she needs more competency training.

Camden's father was in court, but too emotional to go on camera today. He says, "I'm frustrated with the delay in the court process because it's the only hope I have to get answers for the loss of my son."

The woman accused of killing little Camden is his maternal grandmother.

The public defender will call one more witness to testify Monday morning. We will be there and let you know what the judge decides about Bordt's competence to stand trial.
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[UPDATE] October 28, 2011 - 1:30pm -

The hearing for Marianne Bordt has ended for the day. There has been no resolution on her competency to stand trial as of yet. The hearing will continue on October 31st at 10am.

The 72-year old woman is accused of drowning her 5-year old grandson in the bathtub while the family vacationed on St. George island last January 2010.

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[UPDATE] October 28, 2011 - Noon -

A 72-year old woman is in court today, accused of drowning her 5-year old grandson in the bathtub while the family vacationed on St. George island last January (2010).

Marianne Bordt sat peacefully in the courtroom with her German interpreter today as three state psychologists deemed her as competent to stand trial.

Bordt has been at Florida State Hospital since December of last year. Because she's German and has been diagnosed with several mental health disorders in the past, she was admitted to the hospital to get competency training before she can stand trial. Her last evaluation to the court was in august and she was found competent to stand trial by a psychologist who worked with her on the understanding of the court system. A public defender questioned the psychologists today about Bordt's competency based on her past mental health issues and a report from an English language instructor noting she was 'making slow progress.'

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[UPDATE] October 28, 2011 - 10am -

72-year-old Marianne Bordt is back in court this morning. She's accused of drowning her 5-year old grandson in the bathtub while they were vacationing on St. George island in January 2010. The public defender plans to challenge his client's competency to stand trial.

Two psychologists have taken the stand this morning so far. Dr Leslie Dellenbarge conducted competency evaluations with Bordt while she was at the Florida State Hospital. Dellenbarge worked with Bordt on the English language and on how the court system works. Dellenbarge says based on Bordt's competency restorations classes and evaluations, it appears that Bordt is ready to return to court and proceed.

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UPDATED 10.27.2011 by Julie Montanaro

A woman accused of drowning her grandson in the bathtub will appear before a judge in Tallahassee tomorrow.

Marianne Bordt was arrested in January 2010 and accused of killing her 5 year old grandson while on vacation at St. George Island.

Bordt is facing murder charges in Franklin County, but has been brought to Tallahassee for a competency hearing tomorrow.

Prosecutors say the hearing was moved to the capital city to make it easier to assemble all the necessary doctors and interpreters.

Bordt is a German citizen. Her husband told police she killed the boy because she didn't want him growing up with divorced parents.

Bordt is expected to be in court at 10am.
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[UPDATE] 10-4-2011 -

Marriane Bordt is scheduled to be in court at the Leon County Courthouse at 10 am on October 28th for a competency hearing. The hearing was moved because of trouble coordinating doctors and interpreters. State Attorney Willie Meggs says that the trial will not take place in Tallahassee

Bordt accused of drowning her grandson on St. George island.

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[UPDATE] 10-3-2011 -

Marriane Bordt is scheduled to be in court at the Leon County Courthouse at 10 am on October 28th. She's accused of drowning her grandson on St. George island.

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UPDATE 12-13-2010 by Jerry Askin 7:30pm

The woman charged with drowning her 5-year-old grandson while vacationing in our area is back in court as attorneys on both sides argue whether she's competent to stand trial.

72-year-old Marianne Bordt is being charged with first degree murder and aggravated child abuse -- accused of drowning her 5-year old grandson in the bathtub while they were vacationing on St. George Island in January.

Monday, a Franklin County judge decided that Bordt will complete competency training at the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee.

Police said Bordt told them she didn't want to see her 5-year old grandson, Camden Hiers, grow up in a divorced home. Camden's parents had joint custody, but he lived mostly with his mother, who is Bordt's daughter, in Roswell, Georgia.

Bordt is from Germany and speaks little English. A psychologist who evaluated her told the judge today that Bordt's language barriers and major depressive disorder is a hindrance to her standing trial.

The judge said in two months, she will check on Bordt's mental status and then determine if she's competent to stand trial.

The victim's paternal grandmother Patricia Hiers says, "She has disgraced herself, her country, her family, by the actions she's taken against my grandchild."
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UPDATE 12-3-2010 by Jerry Askin at 10:30am

72-year old Marianne Bordt will be back in court December 13th at the Franklin County Courthouse in Apalachicola.

The judge will then determine if she will complete her competency training at the Leon County Jail or be placed in a mental institution.

Forensic Psychologist Dr. Gregory Prichard has labeled 72-year old Bordt as marginally incompetent to continue with the trial.

Three mental health experts concluded last week that 72-year-old
Marianne Bordt is incompetent to stand trial, but there's
disagreement on how to try to bring her to competency.

Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey has set the hearing for Dec. 13 in
Apalachicola.

The woman from Nufringen, Germany, is charged with first-degree
murder in the January death on St. George Island of Camden Hiers.

Police said Bordt told them she didn't want to see the boy grow
up in a divorced home. Camden's parents had joint custody but he
lived mostly with his mother in Roswell, Ga.

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UPDATE 11-23-2010 by Jerry Askin at 6:20pm

72-year old Marianne Bordt was back in court today for another hearing. Today, The judge rescheduled another hearing for December 13th to determine if Bordt will remain in the Leon County Jail or be placed in a mental institution to ensure her competency for court.

Bordt, a German native, is accused of drowning her 5 year-old grandson in the bathtub while they were vacationing on St. George Island back in January. She's charged with first degree murder and aggravated child abuse. The state of Florida is seeking the death penalty.

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71 year-old Marianne Bordt appeared before the judge Tuesday (July 13th) for a case management hearing.

A trial date is expected to be set sometime in October. The prosecutor says he expects the trial itself to take place either late this year or early next year.

Bordt, a German native, is accused of drowning her 5 year-old grandson in the bathtub while they were vacationing on St. George Island back in January. She's charged with first degree murder and aggravated child abuse. The state of Florida is seeking the death penalty.


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