Woman accused of trying to smother son asks for new trial - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

ONLY ON 3: Woman accused of trying to smother son asks for new trial

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A woman's two-year fight to see her child is far from over.

Monica Hammers was arrested in 2011, when an observer at Children's Hospital reported seeing her put a pillow over her child's face.

A jury found her guilty of attempted aggravated child abuse in April. But Hammers still maintains her innocence. On top of wanting a new trial, she also wants a new attorney.

"Painful. Struggling. Trying to keep it together," says Monica Hammers outside a Hamilton County courtroom Monday.

Hammers says the past two years have been hard. In 2011 she was charged with attempted murder, accused of trying to smother her 4-year-old son with a pillowcase at Children's Hospital.

In her first trial, the jury deadlocked. She was tried again on the lesser charge of attempted aggravated child abuse and found guilty.

"My attorney has been incompetent throughout the whole case. The whole case has been investigated by me and a friend," says Hammers.

Hammers went before the judge Monday morning, to say she wants a new trial and a new attorney.

"Not only has he been fired, but he has recused himself from the case as well. So, it was a mutual agreement," she says.

Hammers says she is innocent and not seeing her son the past two years has been difficult, as she recounts the last time she saw him.

"Just telling him I was going to do laundry and I'd see him later. That's the last memory I have of my son," she says, holding back tears.
    
She also says her case has taken a toll on her other three children, ages 24, 19 and 16.

"My other three kids have been my moral support through all of this," she says.

Hammers says she will continue to fight for what she knows is right.

"If you're innocent, stand your ground. That's all I can say," says Hammers.

Judge Barry Steelman appointed a new attorney to Hammers.

The judge and the new attorney agreed on a hearing date to talk about Hammer's new trial request.

The hearing is scheduled for September 17.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.

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