Samantha Lee Green, the Woodland woman facing a murder charge in the February death of her newborn son near Knights Landing, returned briefly Monday to Yolo Superior Court.
Green sat alone in the jury box as Yolo County Public Defender Tracie Olson requested an April 13 pre-hearing conference, in order to have time to seek documents from county prosecutors.
Green, 23, was originally arrested by Yolo County sheriff’s deputies on suspicion of killing Justice Rees. Searchers found Justice’s lifeless body in a slough near Knights Landing in late February, 20 days after he was born.
Green pleaded not guilty to lesser charges of manslaughter and child endangerment at her arraignment, but Yolo County District Attorney’s prosecutors were allowed to amend their complaint the next week to charge Green with murder.
Green remains in Yolo County custody without bail.
Meantime, Justice’s father, Frank Rees of Woodland, awaits a court date of his own in Yolo County on drug possession and other charges. Rees, 29, remains free on $45,000 bail following a March arrest at his home on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and ammunition as an ex-felon.
Authorities say their investigation of Rees is not connected to his child’s death or Green’s case. Prosecutors on Monday were still reviewing deputies’ arrest reports before deciding what charges to levy against him.
Sheriff’s deputies said they searched the Rees home as part of their probe into Justice’s death. The baby had methamphetamine in his system at birth, according to statements by Frank Rees’ mother, Patricia.
Patricia Rees said she and her husband forged a “safety plan” with Yolo County child welfare workers and Justice’s parents, who she said tested clean before they brought the baby home.
Yolo County has withheld child welfare records generated after Justice’s birth, citing the ongoing criminal investigation.
Call The Bee’s Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.