Detroit Mother Jailed after Standoff

March 28, 2011

28 Mar|DETROIT — A 56-year-old woman faces multiple felony charges and is being held on $500,000 bond after a 10-hour standoff with police, claiming she was protecting her 13-year-old daughter from unnecessary medication.

by DOUG GUTHRIE
The Detroit News

Maryanne Godboldo, 56, was arraigned Sunday before 36th District Magistrate Sidney Barthwell Jr. on charges of firing a weapon in a dwelling, felonious assault, resisting and obstructing an officer, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Barthwell set an April 8 preliminary examination. 
 
“What has happened here is a travesty,” said Wanda A. Evans, Godboldo’s attorney. “This family has never been under the jurisdiction of the court. This shouldn’t have happened.”

Godboldo is accused of barricading herself inside her west side home with her 13-year-old daughter and a gun after being confronted Thursday afternoon by Child Protective Services workers who had a warrant to remove the girl because the mother had withheld her medication. Detroit Police said Godboldo fired a shot and refused to leave the home until negotiators, including a Wayne County judge, helped talk her into surrendering.

“We talked that day mother-to-mother. I asked her to come out on her porch and I promised I would come here today to walk out with her,” Wayne Circuit Judge Deborah Thomas said Sunday after the hearing. “I’m shocked by the amount of the bond. I never dreamed it would be set so high and she wouldn’t be free to care for her daughter.”

Godboldo’s family and supporters, who gathered outside the court Sunday, said the woman has every right to make medical decisions for her daughter and that child welfare workers overstepped their authority. The unusual circumstances of the standoff attracted a large crowd of volunteers offering to help negotiate with Godboldo, including ministers and community activists.

Thomas said she eventually talked Godboldo out with a promise her daughter would be turned over to a relative, but family members say the girl was taken into protective custody anyway. Evans said a hearing on removal of the child will be April 6 before Wayne County Juvenile Referee Leslie Graves.

Penny Godboldo, a dance professor at Marygrove College, said she and her sister, Maryanne, trained as dancers in New York before opening a studio in Detroit. Maryanne Godboldo became a stay-at-home mother after the troubled birth of her daughter, who was born with a defective foot that required amputation of her leg below the knee.

Maryanne Godboldo home-schooled the girl. She said her strength and confidence grew, and despite her handicap, she swam, sang, danced and played the piano.

Penny Godboldo said as her niece approached middle school age, she wanted to attend school but needed to catch up on required immunizations.

“We believe she had an adverse reaction to her immunizations,” Penny Godboldo said.

“She began acting out of character, being irritated, having facial grimaces that have been associated with immunizations.”
Evans said Maryanne Godboldo sought help for her daughter from The Children’s Center, an organization that helps families with at-risk children, where a medical and mental health treatment plan was developed. Godboldo told relatives the medications ordered by the doctor worsened symptoms, including behavioral problems.

“It is an undiagnosed condition, but the doctor had given her psychotropic drugs that caused a bad reaction, made things worse,” said the girl’s father, Mubuarak Hakim. “Maryanne’s decision to wean her from that was making a difference, making her better, helping her to be a happy kid again.”

UPDATE: A rally for Godboldo is planned for 9 a.m. Saturday at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, 18700 James Couzens Freeway.  For more information, visit Justice 4 Maryanne.com.  Supporters can make tax deductable donations in Maryanne’s name on this page.

30 MarBond Reduced – mother released

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