Alleged child abuser's hearing continued
By Jon Johnson
Published on Sunday, March 7, 2010 8:52 AM MST
The preliminary hearing in the case against Tammy Renea Andrews has been continued until 3 p.m. on April 7.
Andrews, 39, of Safford was booked into the Graham County Jail on Feb. 24 on charges of child abuse, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault and unlawful imprisonment.
She is accused of torturing a 10-year-old boy who was in her care as his foster parent. According to Deputy County Attorney C. Allan Perkins, Andrews is facing 17 charges related to her actions against the victim.
She appeared in front of Justice of the Peace District 1 Judge Gary Griffith for her preliminary hearing Wednesday with her appointed defense attorney, Barry Standifird of Payson. Standifird has a practice in Payson but is also under contract with Graham County to provide defense to those who cannot afford an attorney.
Standifird requested the hearing be continued until April 7 because he just came into possession of "a great deal of discovery." The discovery is evidence the prosecution must give to the defense prior to the hearing and vice versa. He said his client would agree to waive her time served in jail while awaiting her hearing.
Standifird then requested Andrews' bond be lowered to $5,000 cash from $100,000. He said the bond seemed more like punishment than a promise to return.
Perkins stated the amount of time Andrews could receive in prison if convicted could essentially be a life sentence. He said that was a big incentive for her to not appear. He added the state is looking into the possibility that Andrews could be held with no bond available in the future. Perkins said the safety of the victim is also a reason to keep the bond where it is.
Standifird said he understands the state's concern, but his client has only been charged with the crimes and has not yet been found guilty.
"It just seems to me like there is no reason why we can't get a bond more conducive to her returning to court instead of her being punished waiting in jail," he said.
Judge Griffith said a bond is intended to guarantee an appearance in court as well as protect the victims. He agreed with Perkins and said Andrews is looking at a sentence between 50 to 100 years if she is convicted of all the charges against her.
"It is an incentive to run," he said. "I think the bond is appropriate at this point, and I'm going to leave the bond where it is."
He then reset the preliminary hearing for 3 p.m. on April 7. Judge Griffith will hear arguments from the prosecution and defense at that time and decide whether there is enough evidence to have the case bound over to Superior Court.