BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Note: The contents of this story may be disturbing to some readers
Los Alamos resident Marion Loope is back in jail on new charges of assault against a household member and criminal damage to property following a May 9 incident at her home. Deputy Fifth Judicial District Attorney Kent Wahlquist has filed a petition to revoke probation under a judgment and sentence issued Feb. 14 by Judge Jason Lidyard in another case.
Loope was given a suspended sentence of 1 year 3 months and 14 days in that case after a Los Alamos jury found her guilty of battery against a household member involving the same victim as the current charges. The jury found Loope not guilty of a second more serious charge of aggravated battery against a household member with a deadly weapon.
Probation and Parole officials have asked if the Court finds probable cause for the violation that Loope remain in custody for the remainder of her suspended sentence.
The probation violation report states that Loope has been given the resources to do well while on probation and has shown the Court that due to her mental health issues Parole and Probation is unable to continue to assist her. It says Loope is not a good candidate for probation and continues to be a danger to the community.
Court documents indicate that Los Alamos Police Cpl. Robert Stephens was sent to the residence in response to an assault in progress. The victim reported that she had taken Loope to the doctor earlier and that Loope had become very upset when the doctor didn’t tell her what she wanted to hear. The victim reported that on the drive home, Loope punched her in the face and continued to get more aggressive over the next several hours.
The statement of probable cause says 15 minutes before the victim called police, Loope began breaking items in her home and the victim locked herself in her room because she was afraid Loope was going to strike her again. While in her room, she heard Loope banging on the door with some kind of object which she assumed was a small statue she had earlier seen Loope pick up, the statement of probable cause says. The victim told Stephens she was trying to avoid calling police but at that point she believed she had no other choice.
Stephens writes that he observed many broken dishes on the ground in the kitchen area and a large indentation on the middle of the door to the victim’s room. He says he located Loope in a back hallway and that she held out her wrists at which time he observed several long lacerations running lengthwise on both her arms. He states that the wounds appeared superficial.
Loope told Stephens that the victim inflicted the wounds and made it look like Loope did it to herself. She told him she was seriously ill and in a lot of pain. Stephens observed one superficial cut on Loope’s neck and his report states he did not observe any scratches or other signs that she was held for the cuts on her arms to be made. He said Loope became uncooperative and complained she was weak from her injuries.
Despite a plea from the prosecutor in the case, Marion Loope, 35, of Los Alamos was released from custody Jan. 30 to stay with the victim, her mother during a sentencing hearing before First Judicial District Jason C. Lidyard.
During the sentencing hearing on the previous case, Judge Lidyard expressed his concern for the victim’s saying,” I think we all know what the jury did in this situation, the jury split the baby” and that he believed what the victim had to say on the witness stand. In that case, Loope was accused of holding a knife to the victim’s throat during a prolonged argument.
At sentencing Wahlquist asked the Court to sentence Loope to 364 days in jail, suspend all except for the 290 days she had spent in jail since the incident, and place her on two years of probation. He asked that Loope be order to participate in the mandatory CYFD domestic violence offender class. At that hearing Wahlquist called Loope’s criminal history “quite significant” noting that Loope was held in pretrial detention on the current case due to that history. He said Loope had been convicted of two counts of battery on a peace officer and had multiple misdemeanor battery against a household member charges, which he said all surrounded Loope’s mother or her late father.
Wahlquist also asked the Court that there be no contact between Loope and the victim.
“Based on Ms Loope’s history, something will happen, whether a felony or a misdemeanor, I don’t know, but something will happen and the police will be involved and I’ll have to be involved.”
At the hearing the victim told Judge Lidyard that if he released Loope on probation, Loope didn’t really have resources to go anywhere else if she didn’t stay with the victim. She told the Court she would like to be able to stipulate in terms of a safety plan that would enable her to retreat to her bedroom and lock the door in lieu of calling the police. Judge Lidyard said he worries that when people are in desperate need for law enforcement assistance, what happens is that after the situation calms down and charges arise and the person is in custody with a possible consequence of incarceration, that leads persons like the victim to not call the police in the future.
“They don’t want to see that happen again. I don’t want you running to your bedroom to lock the door in a dangerous situation, not calling for help. I’m concerned that something is going to happen,” he said, before sentencing Loope to time served, placing her on supervised probation until May 15, 2020, ordering her to participate in the CYFD domestic violence offender class, attend therapy sessions with victim, attend anger management classes and maintain her counseling and medications.
A probation violation arraignment has been set for May 29 before Judge Lidyard.