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.

 

 

  

  

 



Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the No Bills and True Bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury for Aug. 16. No Bills: HOWARD, LEE MORGAN W 24 M 0 1 GS 1669795 DISORDERLY CONDUCT LINEBERRY, BRIAN ROBERT W 39 M 0 1 GS 1643265 DOMESTIC ASSAULT REYNOLDS, ROLAND RICO B 27 M 0 1 GS 1622480 POSS.A FIREARM DURING DANGEROUS FELONY RICHARD, BRETT ALLAN W 37 M 0 1 GS 1666000 DISORDERLY CONDUCT ... (click for more)

Haslam To Be Special Guest As Rep. Patsy Hazlewood Launches Re-Election Campaign

Governor Bill Haslam will be a special guest as Rep. Patsy Hazlewood launches her re-election campaign for House District 27. A reception will be Thursday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center. There is a minimum $500 contribution per individual/couple. Also set to attend are Senators Bo Watson and Todd Gardenhire and Reps. Marc Gravitt, Gerald McCormick ... (click for more)

Is This Really About Slavery?

The greatest thing that came out of the American Civil War came after the cessation of hostilities. After four years of deadly, devastating, agonizing war and over 600,000 Americans had died, the armies came to a halt. The killing ended, but the suffering continued for many of the wounded and those whose homes and fortunes had gone up in smoke and been left as rubble. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ordinary To Extraordinary

A handsome black guy, from the looks of it still in high school, appeared in a video during the A Celebration of Valor luncheon at the Chattanooga Convention Center Tuesday afternoon and described a Medal of Honor winner. Easily over 500 were there, including our famed Charles Coolidge, and all heard this young achiever say, “A Medal recipient is an ordinary person who performs ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Gets Revenge With Boyd-Buchanan

The Notre Dame volleyball team may have felt they let one get away in the championship match of the Hixson Invitational Saturday afternoon against the Boyd-Buchanan Lady Buccaneers, but they were bound to not let it happen again. At least, not during a home match against these same Lady Bucs Tuesday evening in the rowdy confines of their Jack Steiner Sr. Gymnasium. The Lady ... (click for more)

Despite Sloppy Finish, Lady Raiders Sweep McMinn

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Cleveland High School’s volleyball team came close to completely satisfying its coach Tuesday. The Lady Raiders then got lazy. Coach Trish Flowers, who has another state tournament contender on her hands this season, let the squad feel her displeasure in the postgame huddle. “I was within just a few minutes of being in a good mood,” said Flowers, ... (click for more)