Victoria M. Gertson, 14, who was jailed Tuesday on a charge of murdering her mother, was freed last night after her godmother posted $30,000 bond, an amount set earlier in the day by a Prince George's County judge.
Joseph DePaul, the girl's attorney, said the godmother will look after her pending further developments.
Gertson's mother, Maria C. Gertson, 48, died May 24, three days after suffering a head injury at her home at 8402 12th Ave., Langley Park. Police and prosecutors allege that Mrs. Gertson was injured when her daughter slammed her head into a nightstand during an argument.
At yesterday's bond hearing, DePaul told District Judge Graydon S. McKee that after interviewing his client and examining police statements, he believes the death was an accident. Looking at evidence produced so far, "in the best light for the state, it's still a manslaughter at best," DePaul said.
Prosecutor Robert Tobin replied that "there's a confession that she made to detectives at the bureau of investigation." Without describing the contents of the "confession," Tobin argued that Gertson "presented a clear threat to the community." He said she had "run away from home" after the incident.
DePaul countered that the girl left home to stay with her godmother and telephoned relatives daily to check on her mother. He said she turned herself into police, accompanied by an aunt. The girl was charged after turning herself in Tuesday night.
In deciding to set a bond for the girl, McKee said information on the incident presented to him "doesn't reflect self-defense, but it doesn't reflect premeditation either . . . I don't know what the confession says . . . but there's nothing here that indicates premeditation."
He also noted that, "except for six months, she would by law be treated -- regardless of the crime -- as a juvenile."
The girl is a half-year past her 14th birthday. Under Maryland law, those over 14 charged with first degree murder are treated as adults.
After the hearing, DePaul said the girl, who said nothing during her brief court appearance, "is just plain scared." He said he is convinced her mother's death was an accident "as a result of a fall."