BANGOR, Maine — The mother accused of bringing her three children from their home in Connecticut to Bangor without their father’s permission refused to waive extradition in her first court appearance Wednesday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Jackie Morris, 32, and the missing boys, Dylan, 7, Brandan, 7, and Ryan Lewis, 9, were found late Tuesday morning by Bangor police at a local hotel. The boys had been reported missing by their father, who lives in Vernon, Connecticut, on Monday.
District Court Judge Gregory Campbell set Morris’ extradition hearing for June 6. He set bail at $20,000 cash, the amount requested by the Penobscot County district attorney’s office. Assistant District Attorney Tracy Collins Lacher said that Connecticut officials asked that Morris’ bail be set at $250,000 once she is returned to that state.
Morris initially seemed willing to waive extradition, but after being given more time to discuss the waiver and her rights with Jeremiah Haley, a Bangor lawyer who acted as her attorney for Wednesday’s proceeding, she told the judge she wanted a hearing.
Morris told the judge that she understood the charges but didn’t think “they were right.” She also said she wanted to do what was “in the best interest of the children.”
Haley said that Morris believed the incident was “a misunderstanding, but she understands that the time to contest the charges is when she gets back to Connecticut.
“This a custody dispute,” Haley said.
Through Haley, Morris said she planned to move to Maine but had been staying at the hotel where she was arrested. Haley said she had $75 in cash to post as bail.
Campbell said that Morris “seemed to be on the run with children” and had no ties to Maine that he could determine.
Morris, who remained at the Penobscot County Jail on Wednesday, was arrested Tuesday on a fugitive from justice charge by Bangor police, Vernon police Detective James Grady said Tuesday. She is charged in Connecticut with three counts of custodial interference and three charges of risk of injury to a minor.
Bangor police received information Tuesday morning that the mother and children might be traveling to Bangor, according to a previously published report. Detectives found Morris and the boys at a hotel on Haskell Road.
Grady said that the boys’ father reported them missing because he was concerned about their safety. The boys live with their father, and Morris has visitation rights. The boys were with her for the weekend, but the father reported the children missing when she did not return them Sunday night, according to police.
An Amber Alert was issued for three children by Connecticut authorities. Morris has ties to Maine, Connecticut and Massachusetts, state police said.
“When Morris is extradited, she will be arrested on her Connecticut arrest warrant and will be arraigned at Rockville Superior Court,” Grady said Tuesday.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services took temporary custody of the three boys on Tuesday. Information about whether the children have been reunited with the father was not available late Wednesday.
Police had reported that Morris was believed to have been driving and living out of a red 2004 Volkswagen Jetta.