ST. PAUL -- It’s unclear exactly what ails Bethany Good.
She has, at times, told court or law enforcement officials that she suffers from an adrenal condition, migraines, gynecological problems and generalized “health issues.”
She has been known to suddenly fall ill or be hospitalized at the last minute, postponing court hearings, court records show.
She has lied to men and courts about being pregnant and having babies (and has even obtained fake birth certificates), and several men have filed for harassment restraining orders against her.
But court and law-enforcement officials, fed up with her narrative and “questionable medical documentation,” are questioning her psychological condition.
On Tuesday, after four months on the lam, Good appeared before Ramsey County District Judge Salvador Rosas, who ordered an immediate mental health evaluation and sent her to the county workhouse for about four months.
“Miss Good, I’m concerned about you,” Rosas said. “I think there are a lot of issues here. Complicated issues I can’t even begin to understand.”
Rosas had sentenced the former Bismarck, N.D., resident to probation in May, in a case stemming from the fake birth certificates, despite her own defense attorney reporting that she had failed to cooperate with the presentence investigation and had been deemed “basically unmanageable” by probation officers.
Then, in July, probation officials reported to the court that Good had given them a fake address - discovered when officers tried to serve her with a new restraining order out of Dakota County - and did not stay in contact with her supervisor.
Probation also told the court Good appeared to be up to her old tricks again: A man in Dakota County reported that Good told him she recently had his baby, who was in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Rochester, and that she was trying to extort money from him, the probation report said.
Edina police arrested Good on Nov. 4. She had been wanted on warrants in at least three counties since July - first, for the probation violation, and second, when she skipped out on a jury trial in Scott County. A new warrant was issued in October because she missed a hearing in Hennepin County court, where she’s charged with giving a police officer a false name and birthdate.
Less than a week before her arrest, on Oct. 30, Eden Prairie police tried to stop a woman believed to be Good after they got a tip that she was at a shopping mall there. When an officer approached the woman, who was in Kohl’s with another female and at least one child, she fled. Police lost her when she entered Bloomington, according to scanner traffic and police reports.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Good’s public defender, John Riemer, told the court that the lack of communication between probation and Good was because she “has had trouble finding stable housing” and that she’s been “hesitant to disclose her address,” even to probation officials, out of fear of who would have access to it. But she understands now that she needs to keep them informed, Riemer said.
When the judge turned to Good and said, “What is the problem here?,” the defendant told him she’d initially planned to transfer her probation out of state, but was “dealing with family and personal health issues.”
“I’ve been back and forth between the hospital and a friend’s house,” she said.
Asked specifically about those “health issues,” she sidestepped a direct answer and said she’d recently had “two surgeries, back to back” and was dealing with migraines. (During her sentencing hearing in May, she told Rosas, “I have suffered from an adrenal condition,” when asked about why she obtained false birth certificates).
Beth Tietz, from the probation office, interjected, “I know that my agent struggled with Miss Good with her questionable medical documentation.” This time around, they’ll need better information and stricter probation conditions, Tietz said.
Rosas said to the attorneys and probation official: “She keeps coming up with some story to get something she wants to obtain. It’s a pattern,” the judge said.
“You need to get some help, ma’am,” he told Good. “It seems like you’re doing the same things again you were doing before. … I understand there’s no excuse here, but there’s an issue we haven’t addressed yet.”
He said he’d like to see her get the help she needs - whatever that is.
After her stint at the workhouse, Good will be back on probation, Rosas ordered. He also barred her from unapproved access to online dating sites.
The current case began with an allegation that Good violated a restraining order. Since 2012, court records show, Good has been charged eight times with violating a restraining order. She pleaded guilty in three cases, one case is pending and four were dismissed.
According to a criminal complaint, Good was charged with violating a harassment restraining order in Scott County, where she avoided going to jail by telling the court she was pregnant and due to give birth to twins in February 2014. She had already told a man she met online and slept with once that she was pregnant, in an attempt to solicit money from him, court documents said.
The court there requested documentation of the birth, which Good provided. She submitted a photo of her with two infants, a recognition-of-parentage document and birth certificates. It was later determined that she lied to state and county health officials and that the birth certificates should not have been issued, the complaint said.
According to court documents, Good has routinely claimed to be pregnant, a story often told to men with whom she has had brief relationships. She has told at least three men she was pregnant with their children in the past couple of years, and at least five men have filed for harassment restraining orders against her.
Good also has pending forgery and contempt-of-court charges in Scott County for pretending to be pregnant to avoid jail and a pending Hennepin County case in which she was charged with giving a police officer a false name and date of birth.