Shelby County General Sessions Judge William C. Turner lowered Andrea Walker's bail to $250,000 after the county district attorney's office dropped two of the original four charges filed against her in the disappearance of her seven-week-old daughter Aniston.
Court negotiations in the case appear to have put the whereabouts of the missing infant on the back burner.
Sometimes the legal maneuverings inside and outside a courtroom can be spellbinding when it comes to the end results. The problem is that while battles between legal minds can be fascinating the bottom line can get lost in translation.
You have to remind yourself the bottom line in Walker's case should still be to find her missing daughter.
Shelby County prosecutors and Memphis Police homicide detectives continue to insist the accused 33-year-old child abuser holds the key in the mysterious disappearance of Baby Aniston.
"There is a missing baby," said Jennifer Nichols, Shelby County Assistant District Attorney, Domestic Violence. "Seven-week-old Aniston Walker is missing."
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Yet, after witnessing, what Walker's defense attorney, Leslie Ballin, labeled as the usual "give and take of lawyering" at a scheduled bond hearing in general sessions court, two disturbing questions arose with little in the way of answers for either one.
Almost three weeks after the child was reported missing, prosecutors still don't seem to have a handle on what to specifically charge Walker with. Even more alarming is there appears to be less of a sense of urgency to find Baby Aniston's whereabouts, neither from the prosecution or less surprisingly from the defense.
"I can tell you that we are making progress in her defense," Ballin said. "Not comfortable with sharing it with you the information I have at this point. I'm not sharing any information that should not indicate to you one way or another if I know."
Days after the prosecutor's office had charged Walker with four counts of aggravated child abuse, Judge Turner set a $500,000 bond in the case. At a news conference Jan. 17 District Attorney General Amy Weirich declared her office would seek to maintain that bond.
"If's there's any indication in the file that she might flee the jurisdiction, that of course is a great concern to us," Weirich said. "But, that bond was set independently from us and we would, I would imagine, argue to leave it where it is."
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But on Tuesday, Nichols put up no argument about slashing the bond to $250,000 in announcing two of the four previous counts against Walker had been dropped, leaving only two counts of aggravated child abuse filed against her.
"The reason that we agreed to the bond reduction is because two of the charges will not be presented," Nichols said. "And that's the charges relevant to the three-year-old child."
The case will be presented to a Shelby County grand jury for indictment. Ballin says he doesn't believe Walker will be able to bond out and the possibility exists by that time other charges could be added. But, when pressed one last time about whether he knew where Aniston might be, Ballin opted to wax philosophical about a topic he's more familiar with.
"I jokingly have said in the past, when they finally put me six feet under, there are a lot of people in this town that are going to be relieved," Ballin said.
The mother of a 7-week-old baby who has been missing nearly two weeks is due in court this morning.
Andrea Walker is charged with four counts of aggravated child abuse, and is in jail on a $500,000 bond.
Walker told police she left Aniston and her three year old home alone while she took another child to school. She then later came home to find the baby missing.