Woman charged with boy’s death wants bond reduced so she can leave jail; cites medical issues

CLEVELAND -- A woman facing several charges in connection with the murder of a four-year-old boy is asking a judge to reduce her bond so she can get out of jail.

Joanne Vega filed a motion with Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge William McGinty on Monday. She asked that her $1 million bond be reduced to $400,000. She said she needs medical and dental care.

Vega and her co-defendant Romaine Tolbert are charged with murder, felonious assault, permitting child abuse, involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, offenses against a human corpse, tampering with evidence and kidnapping.

The couple is accused of murdering four-year-old Eliazar Ruiz. They both pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The two were indicted on January 14, and they failed to appear in court for their arraignments. They were arrested in March by the U.S. Marshals in Adrian, Michigan.

The motion states she had to recently have emergency gall bladder surgery.

"She has requested medical attention twice over the last couple of weeks, but received no reply," the motion filed by her attorney, David Brown states. "If the pain stems from her appendix, and it ruptures, she risks going septic-- a life-threatening event."

The motion further states that Vega has four teeth causing her an "immense amount of pain."

"Jail medical told her that her teeth are salvageable, but they can only pull them while she is in jail," the motion went on to say.

The judge has not yet issued a ruling on the motion.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors plan to oppose the motion, saying they believe she should be able to get the treatment she needs in jail.

Landscapers found the boy's remains at a house on Longmead Avenue near West 130th Street in Cleveland back in 2017. The skeleton was covered in bags in the backyard. For months, the boy’s identity was not known.

He wasn’t identified until his mother saw a sketch on FOX 8 that was drawn by Dr. Linda Spurlock, a forensic facial reconstruction artist and an assistant professor of anthropology at Kent State University. That’s when police learned the mother went to prison in 2017 and left Eliazar with Vega, his godmother. DNA confirmed his identity.

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