MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Defense attorneys for a mother accused of illegally sneaking her child out of school and taking him and his brothers to California made serious allegations against the Miami Dade Schools’ Police Department in court Friday morning.
They are accusing at least one officer of perjury, and say the cross-country search for the children had ulterior motives.
Carey Weingarth’s defense attorneys said two police officers told them that the department knew the three boys were not in danger and were never abducted. They said these officers told them the highly publicized search for the kids was done so the officers could bill $10,000 in overtime.
No officer appeared in court on Friday to testify to the allegations.
Weingarth allegedly took her oldest son Erin out of school without permission, even though she does not have custody of him and along with his brothers went to California with her boyfriend. There was a large cross country search for the kids and a joyful reunion at the airport but Weingarth’s attorneys allege the investigation was a show.
“I received a phone call from law enforcement that law enforcement was coming forward to say that what occurred in this case was a travesty of justice. That the detective in this case perjured himself not only to a state judge but to a federal judge,” said Defense Attorney Mauricio Padilla.
Defense Attorney Mauricio lashed out verbally against prosecutors and Miami-Dade Schools police officers who he said made a big deal out of a minor incident, purely to charge $10,000 in overtime hours spent looking for them.
“We had a meeting with a private investigator present with members of Miami-Dade Schools police …..they told us that from the beginning they knew an abduction had never taken place, that the police knew the father did not have custody, that the police basically lied to the judge,” said Padilla.
Judge William Thomas wasn’t convinced and wants to see hard evidence.
“We gotta be careful when we throw all this out there,” said Judge Thomas. ” If you want to bring the officer in here and you want to have a conversation about who said what and whether or not the information was true or not, then lets do that.”
The state has offered Weingarth two years in prison for taking the kids. Her lawyers scoffed at that and said after the court hears from the officers involved, the case against Weingarth will be thrown out.
The judge ordered subpoenas for the officers involved and they are expected to testify on this at a hearing next week.