Ruby Franke of ‘8 Passengers’ requests expedited hearing as co-defendant Jodi Hildebrandt claims ‘life threatening’ health issue
The attorney for Ruby Franke, an embattled YouTuber charged with child abuse, is seeking an expedited detention hearing, while her co-defendant and business partner claims to have suffered a medical emergency since being arrested.
Franke, who once ran the popular “8 Passengers” YouTube family blog, is facing six counts of aggravated child abuse after her emaciated son escaped through the window of her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt’s home and asked a neighbor to call police.
Hildebrandt is also facing six counts of aggravated child abuse. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Now Franke’s attorney LaMar Winward is requesting an expedited detention hearing, meaning they want to go over pre-trial conditions and bail as soon as possible. He is requesting Sept. 14 for a new detention hearing.
Franke and Hildebrandt are both currently being held without bail.
“They want her out. Otherwise, they’ll get to them when the judge decides,” said Greg Skordas, a KSL legal analyst and public defender. “The judge has to take two things into consideration — risk to the community and risk of flight.”
Skordas said that the concurrent Division of Child and Family Services hearings over who gets custody of Franke’s children could factor into the conditions of her release — if she maintains some custody of the children, it could actually lead to more strict bail conditions.
“You can’t put her back in the house where the alleged crime occurred,” he said.
The motion for an expedited hearing comes as attorneys for Hildebrandt say she “has experienced a life-threatening medical issue resulting in her hospitalization for several days.” It’s unclear what exactly the medical issue is.
In his motion filed Friday, Winward also writes that both Franke and Hildebrandt’s cases should be heard at the same time.
Santa Clara-Ivins police arrested both women in Washington County after Franke’s 12-year-old child knocked on a neighbor’s door asking for help. The child was malnourished and asked for food and water and, according to court documents, escaped Hildebrant’s house through a window.
The case has garnered national attention, and during Franke’s first public court appearance on Friday, thousands of people tried watching remotely, causing a delay in the procedures.