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A Hixson woman accused of donning body armor and shooting up a neighborhood in December 2014 was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, her attorneys said Tuesday.

Judge Don Poole agreed Tuesday to allow a short-term house arrest for Julia Shields when she undergoes surgery, giving her 48 hours to recover under electronic monitoring. No surgery date has been set, said Assistant Public Defender Mike Little, one of her attorneys, who added Shields would need 18 weeks of chemotherapy first.

"When she recovers," Little said, "she will return to custody and get her original bond."

Shields, 46, was charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder, six counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, felony evading arrest and felony reckless endangerment after a sporadic December shooting.

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Julia Shields, the woman accused of donning body armor and shooting neighbors in Hixson just after Christmas, appears before Judge Gary Starnes for a preliminary hearing on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.

Police responded to her Cloverdale neighborhood Dec. 26, 2014, after several people reported she fired at their parked cars and waved a gun at neighbors as young as 8 years old. After police found her in the Stuart Heights Baptist Church parking lot in Hixson, she allegedly led them on a chase, continuing to brandish guns as she passed vehicles. Eventually officers stopped her at Cloverdale Drive and Koblan Drive, just blocks from her home and near the initial shootings. She aimed a gun at an officer, but was arrested without further incident, police reported.

On Tuesday, Poole scheduled another status hearing for Dec. 7.

Shields, who wore a gray jail jumpsuit, shuffled into the court silently and sat between Little and attorney Coty Wamp for the medical hearing, which included testimony from a nurse practitioner. When the hearing concluded, Shields acknowledged the judge.

"Thank you, your honor," she said.

They were the only words she spoke aloud.

Contact Zack Peterson at zpeterson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347. Follow @zackpeterson918.

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