Public Defender Says Stabbing Case Under-Investigated, Dragging On

Monday, November 12, 2012

Assistant Public Defender Erin O'Leary told Criminal Court Judge Don Poole on Monday that a serious stabbing case has been under-investigated and the prosecution was dragging it on in the courts for months.

She asked that Elecia Banks be placed on house arrest, noting that she has already served over a year in jail on the charge.

Ms. O'Leary said the state had lost track of the victim in the case "and I had to give them the phone number."

Judge Poole declined to free Ms. Banks, who Ms. O'Leary admitted has mental problems. He said he expected some action to be taken on the Jan. 22 trial date.

Patrol Officer Thomas Seiter said he handled the case himself and did not call in a major crimes detective or crime scene investigators. He said he did not at first notice that the victim, Eric Robinson, had been stabbed seven times.

The officer said he looked at the stabbing scene and in the other side of the duplex where Ms. Banks' mother lived, but did not find the knife. There were no recorded interviews or photos.

He said he found Ms. Banks sitting on a couch drinking a 40-ounce beer. Blood was on her jacket.

The patrol officer said he wrote up the report of the case himself. He said he had not obtained any medical evidence about the condition of the victim.

The officer charged Ms. Banks with aggravated assault and especially aggravated burglary. The grand jury heard the case and added a charge of attempted first-degree murder.

Judge Poole noted that raised the stakes for the defendant from facing a possible 3-15 years to facing a possible 15-25 years. 

The mother of Ms. Banks said she heard the pair arguing, but did not witness the stabbing. She said Robinson was known in the neighborhood as "the weed man." She said he taunted her daughter, claiming he had sex with her 13-year-old daughter.

Robinson recovered from his stab wounds, but now he has other health problems, causing him often to miss court dates, prosecutor Jason Demastus said. He acknowledged he had gotten the phone number for Robinson's son from Ms. O'Leary. He called it "a difficult case."

Ms. O'Leary said, "The fact that there was very, very little investigation of this case was quite a surprise to me."

She said Ms. Banks has a number of mental diagnoses, including bi-polar, but she said she is "wonderful, sweet and kind" when she is on her meds.

Ms. Banks was charged with reckless homicide after one of her children drowned in 2003. She pleaded guilty and got a house arrest sentence.

Judge Poole lowered the bond in the stabbing case from $50,000 to $40,000.

 

 

  

  

 


Catoosa County Arrest Report For July 15-21

Click  here  for the Catoosa County arrest report for July 15-21. (click for more)

Times Free Press Including 3 New Periodic Inserts With Print Subscriptions; Adding Charge For "Premium Editions"

The Chattanooga Times Free Press said it is adding three new periodic publications as inserts for home subscribers. The newspaper, which is among papers across the country seeking to hold onto print subscribers in the face of the availability of immediate digital news, also will add a charge for "Premium Editions." Carroll Duckworth, circulation director, said in a letter ... (click for more)

Make America Good Again - And Response

“No people can be great, who have ceased to be virtuous.”   Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) Last week I witnessed first hand the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. As I observed the happenings within the Quicken Arena, the one theme that continued to pop up again and again, was  Make America Great Again .  Of course, that being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Jerika’s Last Dance

There is a horrifying disease called spinal muscular atrophy type 2 that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. What happens is the nerve cells in a person’s brain stem and spinal cord slowly die and, without the ability to voluntarily control your muscles, your body withers away in one of the most painful ways you can imagine. Jerika Bolen, age 14, can’t stand it any longer, nor ... (click for more)

Dunbar Promoted To Head Wrestling Job At Ooltewah

J.D. Dunbar had been promoted to head wrestling coach at Ooltewah High School. Dunbar, an assistant with the Owls’ mat program since 2012, becomes a head coach for the first time at the high school level. He replaces Bryant Blackmon, who recently resigned. The 36-year-old Dunbar is also the school’s strength and conditioning coach and assistant head football coach on ... (click for more)

Another Big Week For Chattanooga Football Club

More than 10,000 fans gathered at Finley Stadium last Saturday to see a 5-3 penalty kick win over Miami United.   CFC keeper Gregga Hartley made a save and scored the winning penalty kick, helping his team to advance to the national semifinals on Saturday.  They will host Sonoma County Sol at 7:30 in the comfy confines of "Fort Finley"  Chattanooga is the top ... (click for more)