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Badge & Bar: Woman charged in child trafficking judged competent
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A woman indicted on child trafficking charges is deemed fit to stand trial, as ordered by a Hall County Superior Court judge.

Maria Mercedes Vasquez-Quiroz, along with Junior Alexander Delcid-Leon and Digno de Jesus Mejia, were indicted in February 2014.

Vasquez-Quiroz was charged with rape, aggravated child molestation, child molestation, first-degree child cruelty, enticing a child for indecent purposes, trafficking a person for sexual servitude and aggravated sodomy.
Delcid-Leon was charged with child molestation, aggravated child molestation, first-degree child cruelty, aggravated sodomy and rape.

Mejia was charged with child molestation, first-degree child cruelty, enticing a child for indecent purposes, trafficking of a person for sexual servitude and rape.

Vasquez-Quiroz has undergone multiple evaluations on whether she is mentally competent to stand trial, most recently on Feb. 3.

Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin set a competency bench trial for March 13.
However, Vasquez-Quiroz, her attorney Tom Csider, Gosselin and an interpreter met at the Hall County Jail before the scheduled trial, according to court documents.

“As a result of that meeting, (Csider) became convinced and is now satisfied (Vasquez-Quiroz) understands the charges against her, understands her rights, understands the roles of all the parties involved in her case, and is completely capable of assisting in her defense,” according to an order signed by Gosselin.

The case is now moved back to the active court docket.

Motion denied to dismiss felony murder counts

Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller denied the motion to dismiss two felony murder counts related to a June 5 shooting death.

Leshan Tremiele Tanner, 42, and Rodnie Maurice Stokes, 27, were indicted Sept. 23 in the death of Cedric Antonio Huff, 42.

Jointly, Tanner and Stokes were charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, attempt to purchase marijuana and three counts of felony murder.

Tanner sought to have his case tried separately from Stokes, according to court documents.
Fuller held the hearing on Feb. 10 to consider the dismissal of two felony murder counts predicated in the indictment on alleged conspiracy to commit robbery and an alleged attempt to purchase marijuana.

Tanner’s counsel argued that the alleged conspiracy to commit robbery charge was “too far removed” from Huff’s death.

Fuller ruled in the April 2 order that there was a “sufficient nexus or connection.”

Counsel for Tanner also claimed the alleged attempt to buy marijuana was not an “inherently violent” crime to bring a felony murder charge.

“Based on the parties’ representation of what the evidence will be at trial, the Court finds that the alleged predicate offense of attempt to purchase marijuana is arguably inherently dangerous,” the order reads.

Nick Watson covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: