published Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Child neglect trial set for Nov. 15 and other court briefs


by Chris Carroll

Child neglect trial set for Nov. 15

A woman charged in connection with the death of her young daughter will face trial in November, court officials said Monday.

Traci Carpenter is charged with aggravated child neglect stemming from the death of her 18-month-old daughter Sierra. Her trial date is Nov. 15, and attorneys on both sides will meet Oct. 3 to debate pretrial motions.

Prosecutors first went after Carpenter and her ex-boyfriend, Brian Rutherford, in connection with Sierra’s 2006 death. But a jury acquitted Rutherford, and the focus turned to Carpenter.

At Rutherford’s 2008 trial, a medical examiner testified that Carpenter’s repeated poking of her finger to Sierra’s head could have led to the child’s death.

Several witnesses said they had seen Carpenter poke the child, but Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole ruled that information about Carpenter’s parenting that came out at Rutherford’s trial cannot be presented to jurors at her trial.

Carpenter’s attorney, Lee Davis, recently filed court documents claiming that police promised not to charge Carpenter if she passed a polygraph test, which she did.

Bond hearing for Stout delayed

A Monday morning bond reduction hearing for 20-year-old Myles Stout, charged in connection with the March 9 shooting death of Myles Compton, was postponed.

Stout remains in the Hamilton County Jail with his bond set at $116,000.

Witnesses have told investigators that Stout had pressed a handgun to Compton’s chest. An autopsy report showed a gunshot wound to the 18-year-old’s chest from a .38-caliber gun. The bullet stopped just short of exiting Compton’s body through his back.

During a recent preliminary hearing, General Sessions Court Judge David Bales dismissed charges of tampering with evidence and false report. But he ordered charges of second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and reckless homicide sent to the Hamilton County grand jury.

Stout is represented by attorney Hank Hill.

Compiled by staff writer Chris Carroll. Contact him at ccarroll@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6610.

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