Tammy Lynn Giles of Waldorf, Md., the 14-year-old baby sitter accused of kidnaping a young child last month, will stay in a juvenile facility in Baltimore County to await a second hearing scheduled for Oct. 7, a circuit judge in Charles County ordered here today.
Giles, making her first court appearance since surrendering to Pittsburgh police Saturday, evaded reporters by dashing in and out of a side entrance at the courthouse accompanied by a plainclothes officer. Her parents and older sister also attended the 15-minute hearing before Circuit Judge George W. Bowling, but declined to comment.
The hearing was closed to the public, but a newspaper artist standing in the hall outside the courtroom managed to sketch the scene inside by looking through a swinging door when bailiffs came and went during the proceeding.
Giles returned with deputies to Charles County early today. It was her first trip home since disappearing with 22-month-old Michael Justin Fitzgibbon the night of Aug. 4.
In the intervening weeks, police said, Giles and the child hitchhiked to Breezewood, Pa., then to Phoenix and Dallas. Last Saturday, Giles contacted police in Pittsburgh, where she had gone to visit a former boyfriend who was just released from prison. She gave detectives information that led to the location of the Fitzgibbon child in a Dallas motel; he was reunited with his mother Sunday.
Court officials, including the judge, said that because of Giles' age, they would not comment specifically about the proceedings today. She is charged as a juvenile with kidnaping and abduction.
"It was a routine hearing," said Laurie Gitajn, an assistant state's attorney.
Describing the procedures generally followed in juvenile cases, Bowling said an initial hearing such as today's is held to read the charges and discuss the defendant's rights.
At a second hearing, such as the one scheduled for next month, the judge would decide if there is sufficient evidence to continue with the charges, Bowling said. If so, the judge would then order that "a social history" of the defendant be compiled, Bowling said. At the final hearing, the judge would choose the care or treatment necessary in the case, he said.
"The juvenile system is designed for rehabilitation, not for punishment," Bowling said, when asked about the treatment options for Giles.
In choosing to place Giles in the Montrose juvenile facility north of Baltimore, Bowling apparently decided against his other option, placing her in her parents' custody until her next hearing.
Police have described Giles as a habitual runaway: Charles County Sheriff's Sgt. Casey McDevitt said the number of incidents, reported and unreported, may have totaled 22.
Giles, dressed in a striped dress and high-heeled shoes and carrying a white pocketbook, appeared to be composed today as she entered the second-floor courtroom. A deputy standing in the doorway greeted her and said, "You look nice today," as she passed. Giles nodded and smiled slightly.