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Missing boy's mom held for trial in Massachusetts

A Massachusetts woman and her boyfriend are being held on charges of assaulting and kidnapping her son, a boy police believe is dead.
By Frances Burns   |   March 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM   |   Comments

March 28 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts woman and her boyfriend are being held on charges of assaulting and kidnapping her son, a boy police believe is dead.

Elsa Oliver of Fitchburg was arraigned Friday in Superior Court in Worcester. Alberto Sierra appeared in court Thursday.

Jeremiah Oliver, 5, was not reported missing until December, although relatives say they had not seen him since September. Police have said they are investigating the disappearance as a homicide case.

His mother was arrested in December and referred for a mental health evaluation. She is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, while bail for Sierra is $250,000.

James Reardon Jr., Oliver's court-appointed lawyer, said after the hearing that he does not think she is capable of assisting in her defense. He said she is "scattered and inconsistent" when he tries to talk to her and cannot understand more than a few sentences at a time.

During the hearing, Oliver said she wanted another lawyer or to represent herself. A probation officer told the judge before she was brought in that Oliver had refused to sign a form to be used to determine if she is eligible for court-appointed counsel.

The judge ruled Reardon would remain as her lawyer.

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