Monica Hammers Convicted In 2nd Trial In Smothering Incident

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Criminal Court jury late Friday found Monica Hammers guilty as charged of attempted aggravated child abuse in connection with an incident at a Chattanooga hospital in which it was alleged she tried to smother her four-year-old child with a pillow.

She will be sentenced by Judge Barry Steelman on June 17. The sentencing range is 8-12 years.

The jury deliberated over 11 hours after starting on Thursday. The trial began Tuesday.

At the first trial, Judge Steelman had directed verdicts of acquittal on charges 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 first jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on any of several charges involving attempted child abuse and attempted assault.

Prosecutor Charlie Minor had opted to try the case again on the lesser charges.

It was testified that Ms. Hammers, 43, of Smyrna, Tn., 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 2011 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.

That is when the incident with the pillow occurred.


Woman In Critical Condition After Being Shot In The Face Near O'Rear Street Identified As Entwadina Phillips, 20

A woman who is in critical condition after she was shot while driving in Chattanooga on Saturday night has been identified as 20-year-old Entwadina Phillips . Just after  9 p.m. , the Chattanooga Police Department responded to reports of a person shot. Once on the scene, police located a female victim near the 2500 block of O'Rear Street suffering from a life-threatening ... (click for more)

Large Pothole On Holtzclaw Causes Damage To Multiple Vehicles Tuesday Morning

A large pothole at 600 N. Holtzclaw Ave. caused problems for multiple drivers on Tuesday morning. It appeared that a water main leak caused the damage. Officials quickly barricaded one lane against the curb. One motorist caught up in the quagmire said, "The damage was not light to vehicles which hit the pothole on Holtzclaw today during the morning 8 a.m. rush ... (click for more)

City Council, Please Reconsider On The 7-Story Apartment Variance - And Response

I would like to thank the Regional Planning Commission and the Regional Planning Agency   for denying the recent application for a variance from the current zoning requirements in place for the 1200 block of Cowart Street. The developers want to build a 7-story parking deck with 141 efficiency and one-bedroom apartments wrapped around three sides in an area with a 48' height ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In December

As the fallen leaves confirm today is the first of December, my monthly walk in life’s garden is more foggy than fun. In much-older times, good children would get a piece of candy on Christmas Day while bad ones would receive a lump of coal. So here are some things that deserve a helping of both: A PIECE OF CANDY to the amazingly few who can spy a nest of mistletoe high in area ... (click for more)

No 1 Connecticut Overwhelms Lady Mocs, 79-31

At least 6,104 basketball enthusiasts got to see what the best women’s college basketball team in the country looks like Monday night at McKenzie Arena. The three-time defending national champion Connecticut Huskies won for the fourth time this season and 41 st game in a row with an impressive 79-31 victory over the Chattanooga Lady Mocs before the seventh-largest crowd in ... (click for more)

Mocs Fall 64-54 At ULM

The Chattanooga Mocs (5-2) five-game-in-10-day road show ended Monday night with a 64-54 loss at ULM (3-2). The squad shot a season-low 35.3 percent (18-51) in the loss. "I felt like we had good shots, especially in the first half,” coach Matt McCall said. “We were getting down the lane and guys were just flat out missing layups. Everyone for the most part was getting in the ... (click for more)