Break for Birth
‘Bomb Mom’ Morgan Gliedman Arraigned in Manhattan Court
Morgan Gliedman seemed out of place as she was charged with weapons possession. Michael Daly reports.
Morgan Gliedman, the 27-year-old so called Bomb Mom, the Park Avenue–raised, private school–educated physician’s daughter who gave birth two days after being arrested with her baby’s father for possession of weapons and explosives, was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday afternoon.
Gliedman advised the man who would be affixing an electronic monitoring bracelet to her ankle as one of her bail conditions that she suffered a complication not surprising for a woman who had given birth just a week before.
“My leg’s swollen right now,” she said.
“They can adjust,” the man reassured her.
“Thank you very much,” Gliedman said.
She seemed all the more polite for sounding genuinely appreciative. She may be a rich kid, but she seemed unexpectedly not all spoiled, however profoundly troubled she may be.
“You’re welcome,” the man said.
Gliedman already had two bracelets of another kind on her right wrist, both of the hospital variety, one likely from when she was admitted to St. Luke’s Medical Center following her Dec. 29 arrest and prior to the cesarean delivery. The other was perhaps one of those issued to ensure nobody but the actual mother takes a baby from the nursery.
Yet another kind of bracelet, handcuffs, had been on both her wrists when two detectives brought her into court just after the lunch break. The detectives had cuffed her in the front rather than the rear and left the cuffs loose, a token of consideration that is not automatically granted with a pedigree.
She seemed to suffer no discomfort as she sat with the detectives in the front spectator’s bench wearing a brown knit dress, black knit stockings, and black shoes with sensible heels. She waited for her case to be called with her legs crossed and her hands folded in her lap. Her brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail. Her erect posture was such as is seldom seen in criminal court, save for among the more ladylike transvestites.
At one point, she turned and saw her father, the new grandfather, noted oncologist Dr. Paul Gliedman, sitting two rows back. He gazed back at her as if he could not quite believe either of them was there. She silently mouthed a single syllable.
She half smiled, not appearing to be shamed or distraught, perhaps just a little stunned and oddly impassive, as if this were all too far from expectation to be completely real for her, either. The handcuffs required her to reach with both hands as she tugged up the left leg of her stockings.
“Morgan Gliedman, step up,” the court clerk called out.
Real it was. One of the detectives removed the handcuffs and Gliedman rose along with defense attorney Gerald Shargel, who had been sitting behind her. Shargel is one of the very best, and Gliedman was luckier than maybe she knew as she stood with him before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Robert Mandelbaum.
Gliedman was formally arraigned on two counts of weapons possession as well as unrelated charges of grand larceny stemming from an incident in February, when she allegedly stole two laptops, an iPhone, a backpack, a wallet, $80 in cash, and credit cards from a man she met in a Greenwich Village bar.
Shargel told the court that the question of bail had been “long discussed, long negotiated” with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He said it had been formulated “in light of particular health concerns,” presumably either the recent maternity or persistent drug use or both.
The judge quickly approved an arrangement where Gliedman would be freed on a $150,000 bail bond with the further conditions that she wear the electronic bracelet and enter an inpatient drug program for three days, to be followed by outpatient treatment.
The mention of drugs would have caused any reasonable person to worry for the health of the baby, but little Melody reportedly is not suffering ill effects from any maternal substance abuse. Gliedman was already on probation for drug possession, having been arrested on Feb. 22 with the future father of her child, 31-year-old Aaron Greene, who also comes from a well-to-do family.
The two were in a car in Harlem. Greene allegedly had been shooting heroin. There was a .223 rifle in the trunk, the caliber to be made infamous by the Sandy Hook massacre. That was a little over 10 months ago, so had Gliedman been sentenced to jail back then, there likely would have been no Melody.
The judge now indicated that Melody’s mom and dad will be reunited Jan. 29, though that was not at all how he phrased it. What the judge said was that Gliedman was due in court on that date.
“To join the co-defendant’s case,” the judge added.
In the meantime, Greene would remain remanded on Rikers Island. Gliedman was able to step away from the bench with her hands folded demurely before her.
She returned to her seat while the final paperwork was completed. She reached back with her uncuffed hands and tightened her ponytail, tucking a few loose strands behind her ears. She then pressed her fingertips together, the nails unbitten and well tended.
As she waited, the next case was called, five young men charged with sexual assault. They were given lower bail than Gliedman, but the money would almost certainly be much harder to scrape together. Most of them were likely to be spending the immediate future with Melody’s dad.
Gliedman's own dad had left the courtroom. Her Facebook friends include members of some of New York’s richest and most socially prominent families, but none of them were in evidence.
Her right hand rose to her mouth and began to tug at her upper lip in a first overt sign of nervousness. One person who was there for her and now came up to introduce himself was a New Yorker of true prominence, Ira Judelson.
Judelson is sometimes called the bail bondsman to the stars, but he is much more substantial than just that. He has seen every kind of person in every kind of trouble, and he has demonstrated a facility for recognizing whatever is good in those who are accused of being bad. He is able to convey that with just his eyes and the tone of his voice.
“I’m Ira,” he now told Gliedman.
She responded with the part of her that seems so unexpectedly unspoiled, that should have led her anywhere but Manhattan Criminal Court; that someday may even make her a good mother of the child who would not exist if Mommy had not gotten a break on a drug and gun rap.
“Nice to meet you,” she replied.