A woman facing charges in Thurston County Superior Court for the 2014 death of her 18-month-old child will remain in jail, a judge ruled Thursday.
Ashley A. Conroy, 23, and her attorney, Sunni Ko, appeared before Judge Anne Hirsch and asked that bail be set at $5,000.
Conroy was originally arrested in November of 2014 after her son died in a Steamboat Island fire. She is facing manslaughter charges in the case.
Following her November, 2014 arrest, Hirsch allowed Conroy to be released on her personal recognizance. She was arrested in September of 2015 after she missed a court hearing, and was released again on her personal recognizance. She was arrested a third time in November of 2015, and Judge James Dixon ordered that she be held without bail until her trial.
Conroy’s trial is scheduled for the week of Feb. 8.
Deputy Prosecutor Craig Juris said Thursday that upon her most recent arrest, Conroy admitted to using both methamphetamine and marijuana. She was 8 months pregnant.
She was transported to the Washington Corrections Center for Women, in Gig Harbor, in December and gave birth to her child, Ko said. The child is in the care of Child Protective Services.
Ko said that Dixon decided to hold Conroy without bail because of her pregnancy, and out of concern for the baby. Since Conroy is no longer pregnant, Ko argued, she should be allowed to post bail.
Ko said that if Conroy remains in custody and is unable to visit the child she might lose parental rights.
But Juris said that Dixon’s decision was based on Conroy violating the conditions of her release, by using drugs and having contact with two witnesses.
“I don;t see that the circumstances have changed,” Juris said.
Hirsch said that she wasn’t sure which factors prompted Dixon to hold Conroy without bail — but she said he likely made the decision for a good reason. She kept his ruling in place, and said that a decision to change the conditions of release would have to come from Dixon.