published Friday, April 5th, 2013

Chattanooga: Jury convicts mother in abuse case

A jury convicted a 43-year-old Chattanooga mother of attempted aggravated child abuse in connection with the death of her son in May 2011.

Monica Dawn Hammers faces a sentence of eight to 12 years. Sentencing is scheduled for June 17.

Hammers originally was arrested and indicted on charges of attempted-first degree murder and aggravated child abuse after a hospital worker told police the mother covered her son’s face with a pillow.

But as the first trial began in September 2012, Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman ruled that there wasn’t enough evidence to proceed on the murder charge.

So prosecutor Charlie Minor went to trial on the aggravated child abuse charge. After nearly two days of deliberations the jury could not reach a verdict.

The second trial, which began Tuesday, was on the charge of attempted aggravated child abuse.

Jurors deliberated for 11 hours over two days.

“I'm just glad the jury made the right decision,” prosecutor Charlie Minor said.

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