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Grandmother in custody

by David Cole
| December 9, 2010 8:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - The grandmother of two severely neglected twin girls made her first appearance in Kootenai County court Wednesday, charged with two felony counts of injury to a child.

Ruth K. Cassidy, 55, asked 1st District Magistrate Judge Robert Caldwell to reduce her bail of $25,000. Cassidy was arrested Tuesday.

Her daughter, Elisabeth C. Crossley, is also charged with two counts of felony injury to a child for the treatment of her nearly 2-year-old daughters.

Cassidy wanted out of Kootenai County jail to return to her apartment and take care of her animals, return some library books and handle other personal matters. If not lower bail, she asked for a one-day furlough.

"I had ample opportunity to flee, and didn't," said Cassidy, who cried throughout the hearing. "I just wanted a little bit of mercy, that's all."

Caldwell maintained the bail set earlier.

Court records show Cassidy was convicted of domestic battery earlier this year for punching her boyfriend, Francis D. Gitzen, at her apartment at 1201 N. Lincoln Way in Coeur d'Alene.

"I punched him with a closed fist in the face," she told police. "I just wanted him to be quiet."

She also wanted him to stop drinking alcohol, court records show.

On her jail intake information sheet, she disclosed that she suffers from "severe chronic depression."

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