published Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Chattanooga: Grand jury gets case of mother charged in attempted child suffocation

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    Monica Hammers, 41, faces a charge of attempted first degree murder after she allegedly tried to suffocate her 4-year-old son while he was at Erlanger hospital, according to Chattanooga Police Department.

A Hamilton County Sessions Court judge sent attempted murder and child abuse charges against a 41-year-old mother to the grand jury for possible indictment.

Monica Hammers has been free on a $55,000 bond since May 6, according to jail records. Police arrested and charged the Smyrna, Tenn., woman after a witness at Erlanger hospital told security officers that Hammers tried to smother her 4-year-old son.

Authorities placed the boy in protective custody.

Sessions Judge Clarence Shattuck sent the case to the grand jury Tuesday.

The boy was brought to the hospital for court-mandated medical testing and was accompanied by his mother. The boy already had a broken arm that was scheduled to be set, according to an arrest report.

At some point, the boy began to cry and a witness watched Hammers tell her son to shut up and placed a pillow over his face for about five to six seconds, according to police, according Times Free Press archives.

When Hammers realized someone was watching her, she removed the pillow and ran into a bathroom, the incident report states.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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