PUNTA GORDA Fla.- Melissa Harding Jones and her attorney started the day by asking the Judge to throw out the case against her. She is being charged with child neglect that stems around the case of Pilar Rodriguez who went missing while in Jones' care over ten years ago. Early on in the hearing it looked like Jones was ready to accept a plea deal from the state, but at the last minute she balked and backed out.
Jones' attorney argued that since the state doesn't have a body, that they cant tie child neglect to a murder and as such the statue of limitations has run out on that charge. But the state started calling witnesses to prove to why they think Rodriguez is dead. That list included Pilars father and Jones' mother and sister. Early in the evening the judge decided that there was enough evidence to continue and denied the motion to dismiss. Jones is now set to stand trial in September