FORT DODGE, Iowa (WHO) – The trial for one of the Fort Dodge parents accused of drowning her newborn daughter in a bathtub will be delayed.
Friday morning, the judge in Taylor Blaha’s murder case issued a ruling denying the request for a competency evaluation that had been made last week. Blaha and her attorney also submitted waivers of speedy trial.
In the ruling, District Court Judge Christopher Polking said circumstances had changed greatly after Blaha’s attorney spoke to her father about the reported learning disabilities she suffers from which might hinder her attempt to help in her own defense.
The order said Blaha then spoke with her father and “her attitude changed” and she was now cooperating with her attorney and satisfied with his services. She had previously requested a different public defender.
In the waiver of speedy trial, Blaha’s attorney said it was in her best interest to request a continuance so more time could be used to prepare for the trial. He also said plea negotiations in the case are ongoing.
Judge Polking indicated he would issue an order about the current trial date, February 28th, shortly and also set a date for a trial scheduling conference.
Blaha and Brandon Thoma are charged with first-degree murder in the November 2022 death of their newborn daughter. They are accused of drowning the baby in their bathtub shortly after the child was born.
Thoma is also charged with abuse of a corpse for allegedly disposing of the baby’s body. Law enforcement officials have not yet been able to find the child’s remains. Thoma’s trial is set for August 8, 2023.