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.

 

 

  

  

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BEARDEN, KRISTIN B  128 MORNINGSIDE DRIVE SODDY DAISEY, 37379  Age at Arrest: 31 years old Arresting Agency: Soddy Daisy POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA POSSESSION OF DRUG SCHEDULED 2 --- BENSON, THOMAS GARY  3520 GOLD POINT CIR HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 38 years old Arresting ... (click for more)

Abdulazeez Apparently Went Target Shooting In River Gorge Area Prior To Rampage That Killed 5

A 24-year-old Hixson man who went on a rampage and killed five military personnel at Chattanooga apparently went target shooting in the Tennessee River Gorge area just beforehand. A Chattanoogan said he was canoeing the day before the shooting and heard Mohammad Abdulazeez shooting in the woods in a remote area. The man, who said he thought he was being shot at, looked ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Is A Blessed Community

I am an American by birth and a Chattanoogan by the Grace of God. (A phrase I borrowed from the late Lewis Grizzard and modified) I grew up in Chattanooga / East Ridge – Anna B. Lacey Elementary, Dalewood Junior High, Brainerd High, degree UTC.  My family lived in Chattanooga until March of this year but I’m still up every month visiting friends.   I have been following ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Navy Denies Any Changes

UPDATE: A spokesman for the U.S. Navy on Sunday denied reports that disciplinary charges will be filed against Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White for discharging an unauthorized weapon on federal property.   According to a post of Facebook and other social media sites, a statement reads, “Stories of Navy personnel being charges with an offense are not true. There is still a long way ... (click for more)

CFC Returns To National Championship With 3-0 Semifinal Win

The Chattanooga Football Club didn't score until the 69th minute but after Chris Ochieng's first goal, they would score two more to earn a 3-0 win over visiting Indiana Fire.   The NPSL national semifinal win, before more than 9,200 fans, gives Chattanooga another shot at a national championship after losing to the New York Red Bulls U23 team in the 2014 final.   ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Chattanooga FC Shuts Out Indiana By 3-Nil