COVINGTON, Ga. — A Covington woman accused of murdering her baby in September may be released on bond if either of her parents can show a judge they can keep her confined under house arrest and enforce a series of relatively harsh conditions for her until her trial.
Superior Court Judge Layla Zon said during a hearing Thursday, Oct. 15, she would consider granting a $100,000 bond for Lakristy Jdeon White, 22, of Covington, who was charged with felony murder in the Sept. 13 death of her 5-month-old daughter.
However, Zon said either of her parents needed to show they were capable of holding White under house arrest while she wore an ankle monitor and lived under a number of other conditions until her case moved to the next step.
The case stems from a report by Newton County Sheriff’s Office deputies about White's infant daughter being found in cardiac arrest at White’s home on Edgefield Lane Sept. 13.
The child was later pronounced dead at the scene and deputies arrested White after a Georgia Bureau of Investigation autopsy.
A medical examiner stated there was evidence of blunt force trauma to the child's head and torso, as well as other injuries which had healed, according to evidence at the Thursday hearing.
White was booked into the Newton County Jail on Sept. 21 and held without bond since her arrest.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Amber Dally told Zon the baby was not breathing when emergency personnel arrived Sept. 13 at 2:43 p.m. White told investigators she did chest compressions to try to revive the baby but was unsuccessful.
Investigators later found White had in the past pushed the baby and the girl fell on her head, Dally said.
White also had taken a photo of the child with a pacifier taped on her mouth and shared it with her sister, the evidence showed.
The suspect had remarked she often got "played by men," and the baby "ruined her life." She expressed remorse about the death but the baby had been "a punishment to her," according to testimony at the hearing.
The child's biological father indicated he wanted to help raise the child but he told investigators White did not want him to do so, the prosecutor said.
However, there was no evidence White suffered from mental health issues, including post-partum depression, according to testimony.
Investigators believe she had tried to tamper with evidence because she hid a cell phone from them and asked her father to hold on to it, Dally said.
The prosecutor said White was a danger to the community because of the nature of the crime she is accused of committing, and was a flight risk because the charge of felony murder had a minimum sentence of 30 years in prison.
White's attorney, Brian Steel, said her parents, Covington residents Ronnie White and Princess Williams, both said they were willing to guarantee a bond by putting up the value of their homes as collateral.
Steel said both parents would make sure White abided by the terms of the bond because of their financial exposure.
"They understand the gravity of the situation," he said.
Steel told Zon that White could have fled but did not do so during the period she was being investigated after the baby's death.
Ronnie White also testified he believed the phone the suspect asked him to hold contained information which could be used to pay her bills. He said he never turned on the phone's power before giving it to investigators.
The judge said she would wait on a letter from Steel detailing how either parent would enforce the conditions before she would rule if bond should be granted.
Zon said if she approved the bond it would include a series of conditions that she said would lead to an arrest warrant for Lakristy White if violated.
"I just want her under constant supervision," Zon said.
She said White would not be allowed access to any children under age 18, or adult men. She would not be allowed to have access to vehicles or any digital devices that connect to the internet or social media, Zon said.
"You can't pick up your dad's phone and you can't pick up your mom's phone," Zon said.
The parent living with White also would need to remove any firearms from the house, the judge said.