Latoya Stamper, 38, testified before Judge Don Poole on Monday in an attempt to lower her bond for an armed robbery, which took place in April. During the incident, money was taken from H&M Books at gunpoint and a female clerk was tied up and had her mouth duct taped.
Attorney Erinn O’Leary said that while the order for Ms. Stamper to comply with GPS monitoring was not a problem, the defendant’s $100,000 bond for aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping was much too high.
Ms. Stamper told Judge Poole that she has lived in Chattanooga all her life and, if released on bond, would stay with her mother or grandmother. She said her uncle is paraplegic and she wants to help take care of him.
“My grandmother and uncle are suffering because I’m not there,” she said. “I’ve been talking to her and they really need me.”
The defendant said before the incident she was a sous-chef and, after attending Virginia College, had gotten her business license. She said she had hoped to open a food truck. Ms. Stamper also expressed concern about a need for medical attention, which she said she has yet to receive in jail.
Attorney O’Leary stated that Ms. Stamper’s record was “extremely limited.” District attorney Cameron Williams said this was only true of the defendant’s local record, citing arrests and felony convictions in Georgia.
Ms. Stamper said in 2003 she was convicted and served five years for “possession of crack and firearms.” She said the firearms charge was dropped and she was released early. Prosecutor Williams then questioned Ms. Stamper about a 2017 arrest in LaFayette, Ga., for possession of marijuana.
“This idea that you haven’t been in trouble, that’s not really true is it?” the prosecutor asked.
“I haven’t caused any trouble, ”Ms. Stamper said.
Judge Poole said he would have a decision about the bond reduction by July 19.