SOUTH BEND — A judge on Tuesday refused to lower the $15,000 jail bond of a local grandmother accused of neglecting her grandchildren while they allegedly suffered abuse.
St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller noted that 53-year-old Dellia Castile has only been a resident in St. Joseph County since 2009, and that she has a previous felony conviction out of Cook County, Ill.
The judge also said she found it “troubling” that Castile told probation officers her source of money to pay the bond would be public assistance dollars meant for dependent children.
Last week, Castile’s court-appointed public defender, Anthony Luber, asked that the judge release Castile from the St. Joseph County Jail and that the charges be dismissed.
He argued the state’s charges against her — three counts of felony neglect of a dependent — lacked specificity and that the supplemental affidavit did not sufficiently show the children were dependents of Castile.
He requested she be discharged from jail, the charges be dismissed, and that her jail bond be lowered.
But Miller disagreed Tuesday with Luber’s contentions.
The judge noted that the state’s supplemental affidavit states that Castile cared for the children when their father was out of town, that she periodically attended to their wounds, and that one of the children had said she covered for her son when he allegedly abused them.
“The allegations contained in the supplemental affidavit were sufficient to withstand (Luber's) motion,” the judge said.
Castile is the grandmother of 10-year-old Tramelle Sturgis, who was allegedly beaten and killed by his father, Terry Sturgis, on Nov. 4 in their home.
Castile lived in the home with Terry Sturgis, Tramelle Sturgis, and several other children, according to court documents.
Luber had also asked that his client be released from jail on her own recognizance, saying that she suffers from multiple medical conditions, is awaiting surgery, lives locally, is dependent on public assistance, and is not a flight risk.
Castile, handcuffed and in a jail jumpsuit, appeared distraught as she was led out of the courtroom and back to the St. Joseph County Jail.
Staff writer Mary Kate Malone: