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Friday, October 4,2013

Green trial delayed

Prosecutor’s Office needs time for more witnesses and to add allegations in Steve and Maria Green’s custody case in light of daughter’s hair test that came back positive for marijuana

by Andy Balaskovitz

Friday, Oct. 4 — A jury trial scheduled for Monday in Lansing residents Steve and Maria Green’s custody case has been rescheduled for Oct. 28 following new allegations that a hair follicle test of their 7-month-old daughter was positive for marijuana.


The test results, which are being disputed by the Greens’ attorney because of the small amount detected, came forward today during a hearing before Ingham County Probate Judge Richard Garcia.

"The baby has in her hair follicles marijuana," Garcia said today. "I'm sure we'll hear more about that at the trial." 

In light of the results, the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office will take more time to call expert witnesses during the trial and add the test results to the allegations against the Greens. The Prosecutor’s Office essentially represents the state Department of Human Services in child neglect or abuse cases.


Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings declined to confirm the results of the court-ordered test before it is formally admitted as evidence.


Joshua Covert, the attorney representing the Greens, said today that the hair test — which was done by a lab in Kansas — showed .3 picograms of marijuana in the Greens’ 7-month-old daughter, Brielle. Covert disputes the results because the level is so miniscule — one picogram per milliliter is one trillionth of a gram.


“We’re talking a couple grains of sand in an Olympic-sized swimming pool,” he said, adding that it’s possible the result is a false positive. “Anytime you’re measuring something that small, errors in a machine can cause a false positive.”


Covert said the Greens will now have their own hair test done on Bree before the trial. He also noted that the Greens were supportive of having the test done at a hearing last month.


“Steve and Maria Green are sure they have not used marijuana around their daughter,” he said.


On Sept. 13, the Greens lost custody at least temporarily of Bree following allegations from Maria Greens’ 6-year-old son from a previous marriage that the couple had been using marijuana in front of the children. Steve and Maria Green are both qualifying medical marijuana patients. Steve Green uses cannabis to treat epilepsy, while Maria Green uses cannabis to treat multiple sclerosis.


Bree has been living with Maria Green’s mother since she was removed from the Greens’ home. For the first week, visitation was limited to three one-hour visits. On Sept. 20, Garcia allowed unlimited visitation.


On Thursday, pending felony charges of manufacturing marijuana in Oakland County against the Greens were dropped, after medical documents showed Steve Green is a qualifying patient.


“We were ready for a jury trial on Monday so that we can get our baby back and they just played more games,” Steve Green said outside the courtroom today. “We are very disappointed.”

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