State To Retry Case In Which Mother Is Charged With Trying To Suffocate Child

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The state will retry a case in which a Smyrna, Tn., woman is charged with trying to smother her four-year-old son with a pillow.

In a trial in late September, a jury could not reach any verdicts on counts against Monica Hammers.

The new trial is set for April 2 before Judge Barry Steelman.

At the close of the proof, Judge Steelman had directed verdicts of acquittal on charges against Ms. Hammers of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse. He said the sitter who was in the room at Children's Hospital when the incident allegedly took place did not affirm that there was an attempt to kill the child.

The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on any of several charges involving attempted child abuse and attempted assault.

Ms. Hammers and her son’s father, Richard Griffin, have been engaged in a bitter custody battle since the child was three weeks old. The father claimed the child was fine when with him, but was sick when with the mother. The child was placed in the hospital in May of last year for a test to see how he did with no outside interference and medication and on a normal diet. A physician said he did fine. Another custody hearing is set in March.

The Murfreesboro attorney for Ms. Hammers said he may ask for a jury that is not from Hamilton County because of publicity about the case.


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