Attorney for Lewiston murder suspect wants indictment thrown out

Natasha Hodges

Natasha Hodges

The defense lawyer for a Lewiston woman accused of killing a 2-year-old girl in her care last year wants the indictment thrown out, citing the prosecutor’s alleged misconduct during a grand jury trial.

The attorney filed the motion Thursday on behalf of 29-year-old Natasha Hodges, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in connection with the Aug. 30 death of Rylee Mingo.

Lewiston police say Hodges was baby-sitting Mingo that morning when she called 911 to report the girl was having breathing difficulties. The girl later died at the hospital from internal bleeding brought about by an injury to her abdomen.

According to the grand jury indictment, Hodges was responsible for the aggravated battery to the child that led to her death. Idaho Code requires a first-degree murder charge for any murder that is committed during the commission of an aggravated battery of a child younger than the age of 12.

Hodges was arrested in April and is currently free on bond.

The defense contends, among other things, that inadmissible evidence was submitted to the grand jury, and there was no direct evidence presented that could have implicated Hodges in Mingo’s death. The defense also accuses Nez Perce County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Sandra Dickerson of multiple acts of alleged misconduct.

It is not clear when 2nd District Judge Jeff Brudie will rule on the motion.

A jury trial for Hodges is scheduled for next March.

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