BALL GROUND — Attorneys for the Ball Ground woman charged with murdering her elderly father and staying in his home with his body for days said Tuesday they want her arrest warrants unsealed and bond set in her case.
Andrea Blanton, 45, was arrested last Thursday and charged with murder in the strangulation death of her 77-year-old father, James Reece, also of Ball Ground.
Blanton is also charged with failing to report a death after it was discovered that she stayed in her father’s home with his body for “several days,” never reporting his death, said Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
Now, Scott Poole, an attorney with the firm Grisham and Poole, which is representing Blanton, said that they are in the process of requesting that a judge grant their client bond and release her arrest warrants after a Magistrate Court judge sealed them last week.
Poole said Tuesday that Blanton is adamant that she “didn’t have anything to do with her father’s death” and should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
He added Wednesday she qualifies to be given the opportunity to bond out of the Cherokee County Jail, where she is now being held without bond.
“Somebody being detained prior to the trial (is) not part of the punishment. The presumption is everybody ought to be out, pending trial, unless there’s a reason for them not to be,” Poole said. “And we feel like Ms. Blanton meets all of the criteria for having a bond set in her case.”
The chief factor in his client being eligible for bond, Poole said, is that her roots are firmly planted in the Ball Ground area, and she is not likely a flight risk.
Poole’s firm filed for bond Monday, but Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace said Wednesday that her office will oppose that request.
“(Bond) can be set in a murder case,” Wallace said. “However, we are opposed to a bond being set in this case.”
This is “based on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case and the charge,” she said.
As for Blanton’s arrest warrants, Wallace said they were sealed at the request of a detective with the sheriff’s office.
“I am unsure as to the specific reason the detective asked for these warrants to be sealed,” she said. “Sometimes, search warrants are sealed to protect the integrity of the investigation.”
Poole said based on his knowledge of the case, the decision to close the warrants is puzzling.
He agreed that it is common in murder cases for records to be sealed, but “in a case like this where they’ve ID’d a suspect,” it’s unusual.
“I’m not aware of anything that would trigger that,” Poole said. “There may be something to it I don’t know at this point. But it’s not the kind of case where they’ve got confidential informants working.”
Baker said Wednesday that the decision to seal the records isn’t unusual.
“There is often (information) in the warrants that could potentially compromise the investigation,” he said.
A court date has not been set to address Blanton’s requests, Wallace said.