November 10, 2023 at 10:10 a.m.

Mineral Point woman accused of OWI then has emergency surgery

Joanna Ford, the Mineral Point woman charged with the death of an infant that was in her care, had another charged added when she was arrested last Wednesday around 8 a.m. and charged with allegedly driving while intoxicated with someone under the age of 16 in the car with her.

The Iowa County Sheriff’s Department issued the report which  showed  Ford was arrested shortly before 8 a.m. following a traffic stop on Maiden Street, in Mineral Point, and booked on the OWI count as well as three counts of felony bail jumping.

Ford, 31, made her first court appearance on these allegations Thursday afternoon where the judge set her bail at $5,000. During the hearing, her lawyer asserted Ford blew a 0.0 on a breathalyzer test and had been dealing with a stomach sickness for the past four days that hampered her abilities. Prosecutors argued she was likely under the influence of an illegal substance. The results of blood tests are still pending.

Saturday, a family member said investigators should take another look, as Ford’s illness was more than was found at the hospital where she had a blood draw.

Ford was taken to Madison Friday night for emergency surgery for a perforated stomach.  She had a short stay in the hospital to recover.

“We tried to tell the police she was sick,” a family member said.

Ford is accused in the death of four-month-old Wyatt Hamlin in late February of 2022. In addition to the first-degree reckless homicide allegation, prosecutors also charged her with five counts of neglecting a child. Court records indicate she also faces two charges of retail theft in separate cases that were filed in March and May of that year.

Trial dates were set for February 12, 2024 for the homicide and child neglect charges as well as for the first retail theft allegation.