Judge Courtnie Tucker (top left), Dr. Amy Barton (top middle), Prosecutor Shari Dodge (top right), Brandon (bottom left), Mom Kristine (bottom right).

Idaho Mother of Medically Kidnapped 16-Year-Old Indicted by Grand Jury and Re-arrested on Felony Injury to Child Charges

by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com staff

Kristine McCreery has spent the entirety of 2019 fighting Idaho Child Protective Services for her 16-year-old son, Brandon, over allegations of medical abuse/neglect because of health issues potentially caused by an untreated Celiac condition. See:

Idaho Homeschooled Teenager with History of Medical Issues Removed from Mother Against His Will Due to Child Abuse Doctor Testimony

In June, 6 months after her son was removed from her care, Kristine was arrested on felony Injury to Child Charges. She was taken to Canyon County jail where she was bailed out by her family on a $10,000 bond. 

Kristine’s first criminal court date, for a preliminary/probable cause hearing was held on July 11th, 2019. Dr. Jennifer King from St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and Dr. Amy Barton from St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital were both set to testify.

However, when she arrived, Kristine was told that this hearing was going to be postponed, allegedly because one of the doctors was not available. A group of a dozen supporters attended this public hearing, filling the back row of the courtroom, as Kristine and her attorney worked out the next date for the hearing.

On July 16th, 2019, Kristine appeared in juvenile court for the CPS case, where over 50 supporters gathered in the lobby. All of the attendees were kicked out of the courtroom when they attempted to watch the proceedings, including Idaho Representative Christy Zito. See:

Idaho Judge in 16-Year-Old Medical Kidnap Case Orders Video and Picture of Doctor Removed from MedicalKidnap.com as Cell Phones of Supporters are Confiscated

At this hearing, Prosecutor Shari Dodge reportedly made a comment about being intimidated by the supporters, so she did not want to walk through the crowd that was gathered in the lobby in order to fetch the social worker assigned to the case, Heather Newcomb. She reportedly requested the bailiff retrieve the social worker in her place.

Kristine was set to have the next preliminary hearing on July 25th where, once again, one of the doctors was not available to testify, so the hearing was postponed yet again.

According to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure – Rule 5.1, preliminary hearings on criminal charges must be provided to defendants within 21 days of their initial appearance. At this point, Kristine’s preliminary hearing had been postponed twice, due to no fault of her own, and then reset for August 8th, 2019, more than 60 days after her initial appearance.

Kristine says she was ready to have this hearing. She was ready to testify against the doctor’s hearsay accusations and be able to submit her evidence and witnesses to the court.

Indicted by Grand Jury

However, the night before the hearing, Kristine received a phone call from her attorney who informed her that the hearing had once again been canceled. She was told that Shari Dodge had gone to a grand jury instead, without the knowledge of her attorney, and received an indictment against Kristine. 

A grand jury is sometimes used to determine if there is probable cause to prove that a defendant has committed a crime. The prosecutor provides evidence and witnesses during a secret hearing, similar to a preliminary hearing, except that it is not done through a judge, and the defendant or his/her representation is not allowed to be present or able to provide their own exculpatory evidence, evidence favorable to the defense’s case.

If the grand jury finds that probable cause exists, according to the evidence provided by the prosecutor, they return an indictment or a statement of their belief that probable cause exists. If the jurors are not convinced, the prosecutor loses their chance to prosecute the defendant on that charge. 

In other words, Prosecutor Shari Dodge took her “expert” witnesses, Dr. King and Dr. Barton, behind closed doors in order to secretly obtain the indictment through their hearsay allegations, which prevented Kristine from presenting her own witnesses and evidence as she would have been able to do at a preliminary hearing and also nullified Kristine’s right to have the preliminary hearing in front of a judge. See also:

Pediatric Child Abuse “Experts” are NOT Experts in Anything

Kristine points out that this is obviously a tactic done by the prosecutor to avoid public scrutiny of the hearing or to allow her to present the evidence that challenges the allegation of Injury to Child. Kristine says that Shari Dodge was afraid of the crowd at CPS hearing on July 16th, so

“she went behind my attorney’s back to get this indictment, obviously in part to avoid having to face me in court. She probably also didn’t want to have to walk past all those people again.”

The grand jury indictment also means that Kristine was no longer able to have a hearing on the No Contact Order that was put into place in June, which currently prevents her from having off-site visits with her son and forces all visitation with Brandon to be in the CPS office, including his 16th birthday and homeschool graduation party.

Local group, Health Freedom Idaho, has provided continuing coverage of Kristine & Brandon’s story:

Arrested Again on Injury to Child Charge

On Saturday, August 10th, 2019, Kristine was arrested again on the felony Injury to Child charges, the same exact charges that she was arrested and bonded on in June. When she asked the police officers who had issued the warrant, she was allegedly told that it originated with Shari Dodge because of the indictment. 

Kristine and her family were told that she was going to have to bail out once more on the $10,000 bond. Her family, advocates, and public supporters were able to raise enough money in a matter of hours to secure her release, however, it turned out to not be necessary. 

Kristine reports that even the police officers were confused as to why they had just arrested her a second time on the same charge. They had allegedly been told that they were picking her up because she failed to attend a court hearing. Kristine says,

“They told me they even had two officers at the courthouse on the 8th, waiting for me to show up, because they were going to arrest me there instead.” 

She reports that even one of the officers said “this isn’t right” and then, somehow, she was released without having to pay any of the additional bail. 

A new court date for Kristine’s arraignment on the charges was set for August 21st, 2019.

When she was released, Kristine was given a new No Contact Order that states she can not go back to the house that she had previously shared with her son Brandon, despite him not having been at the residence for the last 8 months.

Brandon is currently residing with foster parents in Homedale, Idaho, leaving just Kristine, her mom, and her sister at the address where Kristine is now restricted from residing. Regardless, the NCO stated her home address as restricted.

Luckily, Kristine and her family were in the middle of a move to a new house when she was arrested, so Kristine had a new home she could go to instead. Despite the NCO preventing her from her own residence, she fortunately wasn’t just left on the streets alone, unable to go home to her family.

The NCO now also restricts Kristine from interaction with any minors who are under the age of 18, as if she was a danger to all children, restricting her from going anywhere where minor children might be present, including restaurants, grocery stores, or even church.

Charged with Contempt of Court for Going Public

Kristine has also now been charged with contempt of court for going public with her story. In reality, she is being held in contempt because MedicalKidnap.com and Fight for Lilly are refusing to remove Dr. Amy Barton’s picture and the St. Luke’s CARES video from the original article.

Kristine sent an email to Fight for Lilly, and to Health Impact News, after she was verbally ordered to remove them from the article, officially requesting the items be removed. 

 

According to court documents, Judge Courtnie Tucker also filed a written order, dated July 24th, 2019, demanding that the photo and video be removed from the article, specifically stating:

“Kristine McCreery is to remove the CARES interview, and any reference to any CPA proceeding and Dr. Barton’s photograph from the website http://medicalkidnap.com/2019/07/10/idaho-homeschooled-teenager-with-history-of-medical-issues-removed-from-mother-against-his-will-due-to-child-abuse-doctor-testimony/.” 

Tucker’s order was not given a proper hearing, and Kristine was never able to adequately argue against such an order being granted, as it is in violation of her rights to freedom of speech.

Because the image and video were not removed by July 29th, 2019, Prosecutor Shari Dodge has also motioned for Kristine to be held in contempt of that order, submitting a motion for contempt that states:

“Not only was the CARES interview and Dr. Barton’s picture not removed from the above website, but there have been additional articles and interviews since the July 16th, 2019 hearing in which Kristine McCreery continues to provide information regarding statements made in the child protection proceedings that are still on a variety of websites including YouTube where the CARES interview can be accessed.”

In her affidavit of support for the motion for contempt, Shari Dodge also states:

“On July 10, 2019, I received an email from change.org that stated Fight for Lilly had started a petition and listed me as a decision maker. The petition is entitled Idaho CPS: Bring Brandon Home!”  Shari included a copy of the petition as an exhibit, which has collected over 1,500 signatures. – https://www.change.org/p/idaho-cps-bring-brandon-home

Shari also states:

“The email provided a link to an article found at medicalkidnap.com in which there was a lengthy narrative about facts and information contained in the child protection case including the audio recording of the CARES interview that was held on January 31, 2019”  

Shari attached another exhibit that includes the medicalkidnap.com article and continues with,

“The article found at medicalkidnap.com also provided as part of the narrative a transcription of the CARES interview that was held.”

As we mentioned in previous articles regarding this family, neither the website MedicalKidnap.com that contains the photo of Dr. Barton, nor the YouTube account through fight4lilly.org that hosts the CARES video, are within Kristine’s control. 

MedicalKidnap.com and Fight4Lilly.org have their own policies regarding the removal of such things from their websites, and choose to stand upon the rights granted under the First Amendment of Freedom of the Press.

Canyon County Prosecutor Shari Dodge and Judge Courtnie Tucker are publicly funded officials, and the St. Luke’s CARES institution that employs Dr. Amy Barton is a federally funded program – all subject to public scrutiny because they receive public funds. See:

Child Abuse Pediatricians: Exposing Their Role in Medical Kidnappings to the Public

Family advocate, Serra Frank, from Fight for Lilly, says she has watched courts all over the country repeatedly attempt to punish parents for going public with their story, using their children as weapons against them. She says it is terrifying for the parents, but it simply means the officials are scared too. They are merely lashing out against the public scrutiny of their corrupt actions – like a scared dog attacks when cornered. See also:

The Weaponizing of CPS – Lose Your Children IF: You Don’t Vaccinate, You Don’t Make a Dentist Appointment, You Don’t Pay School Lunch Fees, You Don’t Shut Up, Etc.

Serra points out that Shari and Courtnie are throwing fuel on a fire of alleged corruption, all in an apparent effort to avoid continued public scrutiny. But their plan may be backfiring because it actually gives Kristine the option to take the issue even more public through another criminal charge, the legality of which is highly questionable, and which must be heard in open court with a jury of her peers. 

“Instead of avoiding public scrutiny, their corrupt actions are attracting more attention. It makes you wonder why they are so scared and what they are really hiding.”

Kristine says that since she went public, those involved in the case have lost focus of the real issue at hand, the health of sixteen year old Brandon:

“They seem to care more about publicity than my son or his well-being.”

Health Neglected in Foster Care

Kristine says Brandon continues to lose weight in foster care, and that his medical needs are not being met by the department. She is greatly concerned about the malabsorption caused by Celiac and a possible lactose intolerance. 

Although Brandon is on an increased calorie diet, Kristin says it isn’t going to help if he cannot absorb the nutrients correctly, because he is continuously given food that contains gluten and lactose. And no one seems to care about the possibility of Celiac disease that is proposed by the positive test results.

According to Kristine, everyone involved say the Celiac results don’t matter, and continue on their narrative that Kristine medically abused her son by not allowing him to eat proper meals. 

Where in reality, Kristine reports that the department and court that is demanding control of his health over alleged medical neglect by her are instead neglecting Brandon’s health themselves by denying the possibility that this child could have Celiac disease, and by not even looking into it or allowing him to go to a GI specialist for follow up.

Department Retaliation – Brandon Denied Own Choice for Legal Representation

Kristine reports that Brandon continues to say “this is stupid” and that he wants to come home.

She has had an Idaho attorney reach out to her who is willing to take on the case as Brandon’s attorney, instead of court appointed Bethany Harder who continues to refuse to speak for Brandon in court.

When Kristine’s sister, Michelle, handed Brandon a phone during one of their recent visits, so that he could talk to his new attorney, the social workers reportedly threatened to end the visit, and prevent future visits. 

By fighting for her son’s voice to be heard, Kristine has been subjected to retaliation by not just the courts, but by the department as well. 

Prior to going public, Michelle and her mom, Kathy (Brandon’s Nana) were allowed an hour each week with Brandon at a park or a restaurant. Now Michelle and Kathy are forced to share their visit at the CPS office during Kristine’s weekly two-hour visit.

Michelle and Kathy were also allowed to communicate with Brandon through text, and play games through their apps on their phones. However, the foster parents confiscated Brandon’s phone, allegedly by request of the department, and for quite awhile they did not have the contact with Brandon they had just a few months ago. Luckily, Kristine was able to advocate for her son and get his phone privileges back again.

Since January, Brandon was able to have contact with his family multiple times a week. But now he has extremely limited contact. In what is seen as an attempt to severe the bond between him and his family, 16-year-old Brandon is now only allowed to see his family through restricted, supervised visits once a week.

Kristine’s attorney, Quentin Lackey, filed a motion for new adjudicatory hearing (evidentiary hearing) shortly after their last hearing on July 16th, but they still haven’t heard back on a hearing date from Judge Tucker, who has already previously denied access to the court record for Kristine and the ability to file or receive any of her own paperwork.

Additionally, Judge Tucker has denied Kristine’s motion for access to the audio recording from July 16th hearing, further perpetuating the secrecy and corruption in this court.

Kristine still has yet to have a real chance to provide medical documentation to the court as evidence of her innocence.

Between the grand jury indictment, another arrest, another No Contact Order with excessive restrictions, a decrease in visitation with Brandon for both Kristine and her family, the removal of Brandon’s cell phone and access to his family by his foster parents (per the department’s request), the denial of access to court documents and filing her own, and delay of a new hearing, Kristine and her family do not know when they are going to ever have their normal lives back again. And the public is astounded by the lack of due process and oversight in this case.

Idaho Representative Christy Zito says,

“I just don’t understand. A mother takes her child to the doctor in good faith, and this is the result? What am I missing here?” 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Support the Family: www.facebook.com/bringbrandonmccreeryhome

Family Fundraiser: https://fundrazr.com/d1WzGf?ref=fb_68IId9_ab_57FvP6

Change.org petition: https://www.change.org/p/idaho-cps-bring-brandon-home

Court Support : 

(Criminal) Aug. 21, 2019 @ 2:30pm – https://www.facebook.com/events/1291775824321458/

(CPS) Oct. 17, 2019 @ 3:30pm – https://www.facebook.com/events/380031696244972/

Submit Public Complaints

Contact the Idaho Judicial Council 

re: Judge Courtnie Tucker

https://judicialcouncil.idaho.gov/

Contact the Idaho State Bar – 

re: Attorney Shari Dodge (prosecutor)

re: Attorney Bethany Harder 

(Brandon’s court appointed attorney)

https://isb.idaho.gov/

Contact the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare – 208-334-5500

Director, Dave Jeppesen, 

dave.jeppesen@dhw.idaho.gov

Deputy Director, Lori Wolff

lori.wolff@dhw.idaho.gov

Audits & Investigations, Steve Bellomy

steve.bellomy@dhw.idaho.gov

Contact GOVERNOR Brad Little – governor@gov.idaho.gov or (208) 345-8356

Contact LT. GOVERNOR Janice McGeachin – janice.mcgeachin@lgo.idaho.gov or (208) 334-2200

 

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