A Montgomery County judge ruled yesterday that the Takoma Park girl whose parents were arrested on drug charges after she told police about marijuana plants in their basement can go home to live with them--as long as her parents don't talk to her about the case.
During a hearing yesterday, Montgomery County District Court Judge Cornelius J. Vaughey said repeatedly that he has "reservations" about modifying the conditions of the bonds for Kathleen Marie "Kitty" Tucker, 55, and Robert Jason Alvarez, 54, but said he believed that the attorney for the girl, Kerry Tucker, 16, would be able to make certain the conditions are enforced.
The teenager has been staying at the homes of various friends since a hearing commissioner in her parents' criminal cases ruled that the girl could have no contact with her parents.
The teenager's attorney, Jo Benson Fogel, did not attend yesterday's hearing, and neither did Kerry Tucker or her parents. Fogel said later that she did not want to comment on the case.
The only persons appearing before Vaughey were Steven D. Kupferberg, Kitty Tucker's criminal attorney, who said he was representing both parents in seeking their daughter's return, and Vera White from the state's attorney's office.
Kupferberg said yesterday that he had phoned Kerry Tucker after her parents' arrest and said that her parents wanted her to come home and asked whether she wanted to do so. "She wants to be with them," he said.
In documents filed with the court, Kupferberg argued that Kerry Tucker needs to be "in a structured family environment."
"Kerry needs the custodial care of her parents in that she is seriously learning disabled and apparently emotionally disabled as well," the documents state. "Her parents are fearful that she, if left on her own, will be inclined to discontinue her education."
White told the judge that Kerry Tucker should not be considered a child who needs court supervision and therefore there is no alternative place for her to stay.
"As difficult as the [conversational] wall is to enforce, they will do it," Kupferberg said after the hearing.
Vaughey set an Oct. 1 hearing for Kerry Tucker and the attorneys to appear before him so he can review the arrangement.
Kitty Tucker and Alvarez, longtime anti-nuclear activists, were arrested Aug. 30 and charged with the manufacture and distribution of marijuana, possession of marijuana and conspiracy to manufacture and possess marijuana.
Police said they found 69 marijuana plants in varying stages of growth, along with grow lights, pipes and rolling papers, books on growing marijuana and marijuana stored in canisters and wooden boxes in the master bedroom. Kupferberg has said Kitty Tucker used marijuana to manage long-term medical problems.
Alvarez, a senior policy adviser at the Energy Department, was fired from his job after his arrest.
According to the terms of the order, Alvarez and Kitty Tucker "shall have no discussion, orally or in writing or through a third party, with Kerry Tucker in regards to the circumstances surrounding the arrest . . . the obtaining or execution of a search warrant . . . or the facts of this case."
The order also states that the parents shall not encourage their daughter "to avoid any legal responsibility she may have related to this matter."