Woman charged in father's death pleads not guilty
by Joshua Sharpe
September 27, 2013 11:25 PM | 2610 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — A Ball Ground woman pleaded not guilty Friday to charges in the May strangulation death of her 77-year-old father.

Andrea Blanton, 45, was subdued and expressionless in a Cherokee County Superior Courtroom on Friday afternoon as her attorney Scott Poole entered her plea of not guilty to the five counts against her in the alleged murder of her father, James Reece, also of Ball Ground.

The hearing before Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge David Cannon Jr. on Friday was also to have the judge reconsider bond for the woman, who has been in the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center since May 16.

Cannon denied that request, just as he did May 31. In May, the state argued against her release from jail amid concerns she might be suicidal and could also try to influence witnesses.

Blanton was indicted Aug. 12 on the charges, which include malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated battery and concealing the death of another. Police say the 45-year-old concealed her father’s death by staying with his body in their home on Northridge Road in Ball Ground for several days, never alerting police, even as the body was decomposing.

When Blanton was arrested, she was put on “suicide watch” at the jail, because she was reportedly distraught and police worried she might harm herself.

A Cherokee jail employee testified Friday she has since been released from suicide watch, which left her in isolation with little more than four walls around her. Blanton is now on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, the employee said.

District Attorney Shannon Wallace said after the hearing Friday that no trial date has been set for the case.

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