Foster parent accused in boy's death is released on lower bond

Relates to:
Date: 2006-10-27

Foster parent accused in boy's death is released on lower bond

October 27, 2006
Barbara Ramirez
Caller Times

A Corpus Christi man who, along with his wife, is accused of causing the death of a 4-year-old boy in their care was released from jail Thursday after a judge reduced his bond.
Larry and Hannah Overton's attorneys requested their clients' $250,000 bonds be reduced, soliciting the help of the couple's friends and fellow church members to testify about the couple's character.

Larry Overton's bond was reduced to $150,000, while Judge Jose Longoria denied the request by Hannah Overton's attorney, John Gilmore, to reduce hers. Hannah Overton already is out on bond, but because she posted a cash bond, her attorney was seeking a bond reduction to get refunded some of that cash, according to prosecutors.

Hannah Overton, 29, is charged with capital murder and her 30-year-old husband is charged with injury to a child in connection with Andrew Burd's death. They were attempting to adopt him at the time.

Prosecutors said they are considering capital murder charges for Larry Overton, as well.

Rod Carver, pastor at Calvary Chapel Coastlands, where the Overtons attend church, described the couple as gentle people who loved children. He said he often visits Larry Overton in jail to pray with him.

"We find it incredible that people think he's this bad guy," Carver said, adding that Overton assists with youth at the congregation and is very popular with the children.

"Kids love him, they climb all over him and follow him around the church," Carver said, adding that Andrew always followed around his adoptive father. "I would describe him as a man without any guile or deceit."

Prosecutor Sandra Eastwood asked Carver whether he had personal knowledge of the Overtons' household.

Carver said he could not testify to the condition of the home because he only saw the Overtons at church, where they have been members for about two years.

According to arrest affidavits, Hannah Overton fed Andrew a mixture of water and Cajun seasonings as punishment the day of Andrew's death. After he drank the mixture, vomited and drifted in and out of consciousness, the Overtons waited nearly three hours on Oct. 2 before taking the boy to a medical clinic, the affidavits continued.

Arrest affidavits stated one of the Overtons' biological children told investigators Hannah Overton watched Andrew on a security camera in a bedroom and used food and pepper as a form of punishment.

Contact Barbara Ramirez at 886-3792


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