Iberia Mother Waives Hearing

1 decade 7 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, September 19 2007 Sep 19, 2007 Wednesday, September 19, 2007 11:36:34 PM CDT September 19, 2007 in News

Leading up to today's hearing, most of the key players in the case have not been speaking about it in public.

And just as observers thought answers were coming, Christina White made a move that left even the Miller County prosecutor surprised.

Christina White walked into the Miller County courtroom only to waive her right to a preliminary hearing. White's public defender would not answer questions about why.

Attorney Keith Halcomb did read a statement. In it, he said White maintains she is innocent and now says her original confession was coerced.

"They told her that if she would just tell them the story, the story police wanted to hear, they would let her go," the statement said. "Any statements Miss White made, she claims were coerced by police and are not factually true."

Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Howard, says he's surprised by the move, and has no knowledge of any police coercion.

"I have not received any specific information about allegations of coercion by the police," Howard said. "And if that comes up, we will review it and respond to it."

White faces arson and child endangerment charges and a first-degree murder charge. Next, the case moves to a higher court where White will enter a plea in October.

The county prosecutor says the death penalty is still a possibility.

Christina White's sister was at the hearing today.

She cannot do an interview because she's a witness in the trial.

But she did say she is trying to get custody of Christina's two daughters.

Baby Wayne's remains were released more than a month after he died to the baby's father.

The Whites were not invited to the funeral in Illinois.

Friends and family are erecting a memorial in Iberia, which will be dedicated this Saturday.

KOMU will be there for the memorial.

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