ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –The nightmare neighbor arrested after a SWAT standoff last week will stay in jail until her trial, at least for now. KRQE Investigates has been following the case since the beginning and reports on what the judge had to say in the most recent court hearing.
“I do find that the state has met its burden as to the first factor that the defendant does pose a threat to the safety of others if released pending trial,” said Bernalillo County District Court Judge, Bruce Fox. “The allegations just show a pattern of the defendant just acting irrationally and in a threatening manner.”
Judge Fox granted the state’s motion on Wednesday to keep Kathleen Marsh in custody pending trial, after hearing testimony from Marsh’s neighbors about her behavior over the past year.
“Has she ever made additional threats of violence towards you or other neighbors?” Chief Deputy District Attorney Jason Greenlee asked Bette Kogut, who lives across the street from Marsh.
“Yeah,” Kogut testified. “I’m going to kill you…I’m going to stick a knife in your in your throat,” she recalled, after being asked to name specific examples.
Kogut testified in court via Zoom on Wednesday about what she and other neighbors claim has been constant threats and harassment by Marsh, who lives on their block near Ladera Golf Course in northwest Albuquerque.
Lexie Hernandez, who lives next door to Marsh, also testified that Marsh has made threats to her family. “She’ll tell us that she will burn our house down because we are connected,” said Hernandez. “She’s told us that she is going to kill us in our sleep. She has sprayed us with the hose while we’re trying to barbecue in our backyard.”
KRQE Investigates first reported on the case back in January. Neighbors have been stockpiling video evidence showing Marsh spraying people with a hose, spitting at them, starting fires, and even throwing rocks.
“What I would urge the court to do is sort of take note of, that the trajectory of escalating violence that this case presents,” Greenlee told the Judge.Chief Deputy District Attorney, Jason Greenlee
Things came to a head last week when Albuquerque Police tried to arrest Marsh on an aggravated assault warrant after Kogut says Marsh tried to run her over with her car. Marsh was eventually taken into custody after a SWAT standoff.
“It is simply unreasonable to ask the community to re-bear the burden of having her put right back into their neighborhood where she will immediately begin terrorizing them again,” said Greenlee.
Marsh’s Public Defender, Brittany Steudle, argued her client could find a place to stay outside of the neighborhood. “She’s open to any sort of treatment. She’s willing to get treatment,” said Steudle.
However, Steudle did acknowledge she didn’t have a place in mind to send Marsh at the moment. “Specifically, I do not have a specific location where Ms. Marsh would stay, but she has indicated to me that she does have the ability to find housing.”
After both sides presented their case, Judge Fox agreed Marsh does pose a danger to the community.
“I don’t like the idea of locking somebody up because they have mental health issues or behavioral health issues,” said Judge Fox. “I am concerned about the safety of the community, but, I’m certainly open to reconsider if you come up with some kind of treatment plan,” he told Marsh’s attorney.
A trial date for Marsh’s criminal case hasn’t been set yet. For now, her neighbors let out a sigh of relief knowing she wasn’t let out of jail.