I must say that I was VERY glad to hear this on the news last night. There is NO way that this woman should have left this kid home alone, locked in the basement, with aggressive dogs in the house. I hope that she is convicted. She probably won’t have to do any time — the constant guilt and grief will be plenty of punishment — but I do hope that they look at whether she is a fit mom for her other children.
The mother of a 12-year-old San Francisco boy mauled to death by the family’s two pit bulls pleaded not guilty today to charges of felony child endangerment and was released on her own recognizance.
Maureen Faibish, 39, appeared briefly in San Francisco Superior Court. She spoke only when the judge asked her what school she had attended — St. Anne’s, a parochial school — so he could gauge the strength of her ties to the community.
Judge Raymond Arata found that she had many community and family ties and no prior record, and released her on her own recognizance. Her bail had been set at $75,000 when she was arrested Thursday.
Faibish was charged in the June 3 death of her son Nicholas, who was mauled to death after she left him alone with the pit bulls in their home on Lincoln Way in the Inner Sunset district.
At the request of Assistant District Attorney Linda Moore, the judge ordered Faibish not to leave the city without notifying the court. Faibish must also call the court three times a week.
Afterward, Moore said she had reviewed the evidence, which includes videotapes, audio tapes and photographs.
“I think child endangerment is the appropriate charge in this case, and that is what the evidence shows, that is what we were very comfortable charging and that what we feel the evidence will prove,” she said. “We think she was criminally negligent, leaving her son behind.”
Faibish’s lawyer said the case is still in the early stages. “She maintains she didn’t do anything wrong and we stand by that,” Lidia Stiglich said.
Stiglich said she has not been given the findings of the police investigation. She said, however, that her client and the Faibish family have been through a terrible ordeal.
“In hindsight, everybody makes perfect decisions,” Stiglich said. “Let people not forget, this lady lost her son.
“Any time you know what the outcome is, if you could go back you’d make different choices,” Stiglich said. “The question is, is it criminal?”
The defense attorney said Nicholas had asked his mother if he could stay home the day he died rather than accompanying her on her errands.
The basement where Maureen Faibish left him — the door to which she propped closed with a shovel to keep him separated from the pit bulls — was the family room of the home “where kids hang out,” Stiglich said.
“The kid didn’t want to go,” she said. “He wanted to hang out at home. He wanted to play Game Boy, watch TV, rather than run errands with his mom.”
Nicholas was dead when his mother returned from her errands two hours later.
The next court date is set for July 28, which Faibish will not have to attend.