ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – She’s accused of kidnapping her kids, taking them to London and keeping them there for nearly two decades.
But even though Eileen Clark is now finally back in Albuquerque and awaiting trial, a judge decided Tuesday that she is not a flight risk and should be allowed to stay out of jail.
The judge decided Eileen Clark should be released to a halfway house because she doesn’t have a violent criminal history and doesn’t have the money to take off, even though she stayed out of the U.S. for 19 years.
Now, the Feds are fighting the judge’s decision.
Her story has captivated audiences in the U.S. and abroad, where British news outlets have followed Eileen Clark, a former New Mexico mom who’s facing federal charges for kidnapping her own kids and running off to London nearly 20 years ago.
Clark pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday. She’s now awaiting trail.
But in a Tuesday“detention hearing, a federal judge decided Clark shouldn’t have to stay locked up in custody while she waits for her court proceedings to finish.
At the Tuesday hearing, FBI investigators testified that Clark took off from New Mexico to London with her and her husband’s three young kids in 1995. The kids were two, five and seven years old at the time.
Investigators also testified that Eileen told her kids to use fake names and limited their contact with others.
The FBI believes that Clark took off after her husband said he wanted a divorce.
Meanwhile, Eileen says she was escaping an abusive husband.
In court Tuesday, federal attorneys argued that the abuse claims were “contrived” or made up.
But despite spending years overseas avoiding U.S. law, a federal judge ruled today that Eileen Clark is not a flight risk and has no violent criminal history. He ruled that she should enter a halfway house in Albuquerque.
Even though a judge said it was OK, Eileen Clark didn’t walk out the Federal Courthouse doors Tuesday morning though. That’s because the U.S. Attorney’s Office is now getting a second shot at fighting Clark’s release.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is now appealing the decision to release Clark to a halfway house. Until then, she’ll stay locked up in federal custody.
Eileen Clark’s attorneys told KRQE News 13 on Tuesday that they hope to have a final decision on the appeal by Wednesday.
So far, the federal court hasn’t set a date on when it will hear the appeal to Clark’s case. Both the U.S. Attorney’s Office. and Eileen Clark’s attorneys declined News 13’s requests for an interview on Wednesday.
Eileen’s former husband John Clark also declined interview requests Tuesday. He denies the abuse allegations and has since reunited with two of his children. All three are now in their 20s.