The sentencing hearing for the Vandalia woman who has been convicted of seriously injuring her infant child has again been delayed.
At a hearing in Fayette County Circuit Court on Tuesday, the court-appointed attorney for Aubree Hammer, Patrick Schaufelberger reported that he has not been able to contact a psychiatrist that Hammer wishes to testify during her sentencing hearing.
Fayette County Resident Circuit Judge Don Sheafor set another status hearing for 10 a.m. next Tuesday, ordering Schaufelberger to contact Fayette County State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison as soon as he hears from that psychiatrist, who is in Los Angeles, Calif.
This is the fourth delay for a sentencing hearing for Hammer, who on Oct. 3 of last year signed an open plea of guilty to the charge of aggravated battery to a child under the age of 13, causing severe bodily harm and permanent damage, a Class X felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
The charge filed in March 2016 by Morrison’s office alleges that Hammer “she held (the child) and threw him to the wooden floor, causing brain damage.”
At the time of the incident, according to court records, Hammer’s child was 3½ months old.
She was initially scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 15 of last year, but on Nov. 8, Sheafor reset the hearing for Jan. 16, allowing Morrison and Schaufelberger sufficient time to go over the pre-sentencing report, which is more than 200 pages.
However, on Dec. 26, Hammer filed with the court a letter asking Sheafor to allow at sentencing testimony from the psychiatrist who initially evaluated her after her arrest on $1 million bond in 2016.
In that letter, Hammer contends that the psychiatrist who initially evaluated her “would be a very big help explaining how I was mentally ill, unmedicated at the time of the crime.”
She claims that she threw her infant son to the floor “due to the voice inside my head that he told me to act that way.”
Hammer said in the letter, “I think and believe that I’d have a fair trial with Dr. Gunderson there to testify.”
Hammer has been incarcerated at the Fayette County Jail since her arrest.