Jury convicts mom in abuse of her son

Jury convicts mom in abuse of her son

April 6th, 2013 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

Monica Hammers waits for her pretrial hearing in Judge Barry Steelman's courtroom in February.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

A jury on Friday convicted a 43-year-old Chattanooga mother of attempted aggravated child abuse in connection with the smothering 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.