Jury Can't Reach Verdict In Case Involving Mother Charged With Trying To Smother Child

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Criminal Court jury could not reach any verdicts in the case in which a Smyrna, Tn., woman was charged with allegedly trying to smother her four-year-old son with a pillow.

At the close of the proof, Judge Barry Steelman had directed verdicts of acquittal on charges against Monica 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.

Prosecutor Charlie Minor said he needed time to decide whether to retry the case. A status hearing is set for Dec. 5 at 1:30 p.m.

Ms. Hammers asked if a bond restriction could be lifted that prevents her from any contact with her son. The judge said he might consider that at some later point, but he said she remains charged with several offenses.

Ms. Hammers and her son’s father, Richard Griffin, have been engaged in a bitter, ongoing 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.


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