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.


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