Child custody hearing for Lorrie Thomas postponed until June

Relates to:
Date: 2009-05-19

FLINT, Michigan -- The children of Lorrie Thomas, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her 9-year-old adopted daughter, will remain in foster care -- at least for now.

Genesee County Circuit Court Judge John Gadola On Tuesday adjourned a pre-trial hearing on the matter until June 16.

Mark Clement, Thomas' attorney, requested the adjournment, saying he needs more time to sort through documents related to the case.

"There are a lot of documents I don't have," Clement said. "It's going to take some time."

The five children left in Thomas' care were placed in emergency foster care last month, after Thomas was charged with second-degree murder in the death of her biological niece and adopted daughter, Shylae Thomas.

Lorrie Thomas said in court Tuesday that she wants her children to be placed with family.

"I want my children to go to their fathers," Thomas said. "If their fathers can't get them, (the grand) mothers can.

"I don't see why they're constantly holding them in foster care, when there's places they can go."

Four of the children have been placed with Alternatives for Children and Families in Burton, and the fifth child is in foster care.

Fathers of four of the children were in court Tuesday.

Robert Blond and Darryl Johnson both said they want custody of their children.

"I definitely want her with me," Johnson said of his daughter with Thomas. "If I won't be able to get her, my sister will be able to."

Although he has no legal rights in the case, Michael Moore said he wants to bring his daughter "home." Moore isn't listed on the birth certificate of an 11-year-old girl he calls his daughter, who is also Shylae's biological sister.

"I didn't know her mother was pregnant, that's why I'm not on the birth certificate," said Moore, 42. "I've been taking care of her, buying her everything since I found out she was mine seven years ago.

"She used to be with me and my family every weekend. Now she can't even call me."
Visitation with the children was suspended for Thomas, who remains in the county jail awaiting a June 3 preliminary exam in her criminal case.

The fathers can continue supervised visitation with their children once a week at the centers where the children now live.

"I want her home with me," Moore said. "She knows I'm her daddy."

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