Case alleging incest, child-beating advances

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Anderson

COEUR d'ALENE — A Coeur d’Alene judge said he will not raise or lower the bond for a Rathdrum woman accused of incest and of beating a 6-year-old so severely his pancreas ruptured.

In addition, First District Judge Scott Wayman said he would not order prosecutors to enter into mediation to cut a deal with Joy Tamika Anderson, who has pleaded not guilty to injury to a child, and to incest, both felonies. The requests were before a Coeur d’Alene court Monday in motions filed by Anderson’s attorney, Jerri L. Brooks.

Anderson, 31 — who was transported from Yakima, Wash., where she is being held while she awaits an October jury trial — will remain behind bars on a $75,000 bond.

On Monday, Anderson sat, tattooed and wearing an orange jumper, in Coeur d’Alene’s First District Court as Brooks asked the judge to reduce the bond amount to $25,000. Lowering bond would allow her client the chance to get out of jail, live with relatives in Rathdrum and find a job, possibly with a former employer at a gas station-convenience store, or on the night shift, stocking shelves at a grocery store.

“To her, $25,000 is a significant bond,” Brooks said.

But prosecutors countered that the bond should be higher. Prosecutors had accepted the current bond, deputy prosecutor Laura McClinton said, but she reminded the court that Anderson’s incest charge carries a maximum life prison sentence, and that the defendant’s living arrangements had been “irregular” before her arrest.

If Anderson is convicted, McClinton said, “We’re going to ask for a significant prison sentence … which makes her a significant flight risk.”

Brooks said prosecutors have been unwilling to consider a resolution in the case, which remains set for a costly jury trial.

“We’ve never even received a plea offer in this case,” Brooks told the court. “The state has some duty as stewards of the public coffers to act in good faith.”

Prosecutors said they considered how to best resolve the case, and in the end decided that guilty pleas to both charges would be the most prudent.

“We do feel we have a strong case based on the evidence,” McClinton said.

Anderson and co-defendant Melvin Bledsoe, 37, who is Anderson’s husband — and also her brother — are accused of beating Bledsoe’s 6-year-old son, tying him to a bed to prevent him from eating, locking him in a room, and stepping on him, causing his pancreas to rupture. Bledsoe is in jail on a $200,000 bond.

Although Wayman did not order mediation, he urged both parties to work toward a resolution.

“I encourage you to use the mediation process,” the judge said.

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