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3/20/2017 5:03:23 PM
Posted: 6/23/2001 3:25:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2001 3:28:34 PM EDT by fight4yourrights]
Interesting - you are mentally ill if you refuse charity and societal help, dislike the government and you are okay if you reject white supremists. I wonder is she is going to get her property back. Fight4 -------------------------------- [url]abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/idaho_standoff010622.html[/url] Hope for a Home D.A., Defense Say Idaho Standoff Family Could Be Reunited By Dean Schabner June 22 — All JoAnn McGuckin wanted was to raise her children in her own way. When that meant the youngsters were starving in a home without power or running water, prosecutors say, her love became a crime. McGuckin is being held on charges of child abuse, while six of her eight children are staying in a foster home. A preliminary hearing on the felony charges against McGuckin and a hearing on the custody of the children are both scheduled for June 27 in a Bonner County, Idaho, court. But both prosecutors and McGuckin's defense attorney are hopeful the case can be resolved in such a way that the family is reunited. "All parties have identified the primary goal here to be the family and its reunification," McGuckin's attorney Bryce Powell said. "With that in mind, all sides have come to the table with some commonsense proposals. "This family really hangs in the balance here, and I think everyone wants to reunify it," he added. It didn't seem that way on May 29, when Bonner County authorities arrested McGuckin and descended on the family's isolated home to take the six children living there into custody. After the children unleashed a pack of 27 dogs and one of the youngsters shouted "get out the guns," the authorities were held in a standoff that lasted five days. Mixed Messages During those five days there seemed little hope the family would ever be together again. JoAnn McGuckin was portrayed as a mentally ill woman, possibly shattered by the recent death of her husband, whose paranoia of the government had driven the family into isolation. Now as authorities back off from the hard line they adopted during the standoff that the family could not be reunited, they also say the earlier image of McGuckin was not the whole picture. Bonner County prosecuting attorney Phil Robinson admitted he may unwittingly have played some role in the initial negative portrayal of McGuckin as a mentally unstable fringe-dweller with a nearly pathological distrust of the government. When reporters asked if she suffered some mental illness, he said he thought she did. "The answer to that is still yes, but no one asked if she was communicative and intelligent. The answer would have been yes and still is yes," he said. He said McGuckin has helped her cause more than once since the incident began. The first time came during the standoff, when she agreed to help convince her children to let authorities take them into custody. -cont-
Link Posted: 6/23/2001 3:27:05 PM EDT
-cont- he helped ease authorities' concerns again on June 11, when white supremacist and anti-government groups started a rally outside the Sandpoint jail where she was being held. McGuckin asked if she could be allowed to release a statement to them. She wanted to tell them to pack up their demonstration and go home, saying she had no connection with them and didn't want any. "We had no idea what her statement was going to be until we saw it," Robinson said. "That's one of the more positive signs, that she was able to separate out the things that were going to be practical and functional for her and for her children. I think she saw that there are people who tend to use any situation as a soap box for their own positions and posturings." "She doesn't want to be a poster-child for anyone else's agenda," Powell said. Crime Not Poverty, But Isolation But McGuckin also rejected an offer from Robinson to be released from jail without bail, under the condition that she have absolutely no contact with her children unless it was through the state Department of Health and Welfare. "She felt that would be giving some validity to the charges, and that's not something she wanted to do," Powell said. "This is a mother who loves her children, and that's the most important thing in her life." However, officials say, that love was not enough to spur McGuckin to do anything when the family descended into poverty after her husband, Michael, came down with multiple sclerosis. He died May 12 after suffering from the illness for years. Robinson said the problem was not that the family was so poor, but that the parents steadfastly refused assistance that could have eased their situation, because of their fear that the government would interfere with how they were raising their children. "If Mrs. McGuckin and her family had found themselves in a poverty situation, which they are in, and didn't know how to take advantage of assistance agencies, there probably wouldn't have been criminal charges this time," he said. "But churches and just about every aid agency in the county went to them and tried to get them to accept assistance and they refused. People were banging at their door just begging to help them." Offers of Help He said he is willing to listen to any offers from McGuckin and her attorneys regarding her future and the future of the children, including arrangements that could reunite the family — as long as there is some kind of official oversight. "There's lots of ways it could go, as long as it's long-term court controlled," he said. And he said that since the situation ended peacefully, and with both sides now moving toward a solution that could see the mother and children back together, he has no regrets. "Intervention — in this case, I would do it tomorrow if I heard about it again," Robinson said. Now, according to Powell, many people have said they want to help the family, including an "unnamed benefactor" in Florida who is ready to offer the McGuckins a home and funds for their basic needs, such as food and utilities. And both Powell and Robinson say they hope to settle the matter before the court date next week.
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