The Greenville mother charged with homicide by child abuse was not in court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing because her attorney said she is in federal custody in Georgia.
Rina Padilla-Mencia's was arrested more than a month after her 15-month-old daughter Yoely Padilla was run over on July 30 in front of her family's Saluda Dam Road home inside the Riverview Mobile Home Park II, according to deputies.
Investigators said Padilla-Mencia was leaving their mobile home and had not made arrangements for someone to take care of the toddler when the girl was able to get into the road where she was hit by Padilla-Mencia.
Padilla-Mencia's defense attorney Joseph Baldwin appeared in court Tuesday where he said a flaw in the system allowed Padilla-Mencia to be picked up by immigration officials after she posted bond. Baldwin said he tried to tell her if she posted bond, she would be picked up for deportation, but he said she believed she would be free until trial.
After she posted bond, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers picked Padilla-Mencia up, taking her to Georgia, according to Baldwin. Neither Baldwin or the Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor's Office were notified of her relocation.
Once in Atlanta, ICE agents notified the solicitor that they were holding Padilla-Mencia. Assistant Solicitor Christy Sustakovitch said their office is working to bring Padilla-Mencia back to Greenville for trial.
Baldwin said it could take months for her to return, but Padilla-Mencia is looking forward to her time in court, saying she claims she is innocent.
Baldwin is also the Greenville County Councilman representing District 18 and said he will bring up this flaw in the system so both the defense and prosecution will be notified of ICE holds in future cases.
There is no word yet when Padilla-Mencia will return to the Upstate to go to trial.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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