Attorney: Defendant thought tot possessed

John Weaver in bond court (Source: WCSC)
John Weaver in bond court (Source: WCSC)
Amber Lynn Bracci (Source: WCSC)
Amber Lynn Bracci (Source: WCSC)

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (AP) - An attorney says a woman charged in the death of her 16-month-old child said she struck the boy because she thought he was possessed.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports attorney Andy Savage made the statement during a hearing Wednesday in Saint George.

19-year-old Amber Lynn Bracci of Ridgeville and 20-year-old John D. Weaver II of Summerville are charged with homicide by child abuse in the death of Bracci's son, Rowan, last month.

Savage is Weaver's attorney and says Bracci did not implicate his client.

A circuit judge in Dorchester County may decide as early as Thursday whether Bracci and Weaver will remain behind bars.

John Weaver was in bond court Wednesday, but Judge Goodstein did not make a ruling because she said she did not know enough about the case. Goodstein said she would read up on the case and another bond court date will be scheduled at a later time.

Also in court was Amber Bracci. Bracci's lawyer called for a reduction in her bond and suggested she be put on a GPS monitoring system.

Meanwhile, Weaver's lawyer asked that Weaver be released on a personal recognizance bond. Deputies say Weaver and Bracci are responsible for the death of Bracci's son, Rowan.

Amber Bracci was denied bond at her initial hearing on Jan. 14. A conviction for homicide by child abuse carries  a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Weaver turned himself into sheriff's deputies Monday afternoon. He is charged with homicide by child abuse in the death of Rowan Bracci who died in early January.

Investigators say the toddler's mother, Amber Bracci, admitted to hitting the child in the head a few days before he was taken to a hospital. Bracci was denied bond at her first hearing.

On January 27, Weaver was indicted on a charge of homicide by child abuse in the death of Rowan Bracci. Weaver is being represented by high-profile defense attorney Andy Savage.

Attorneys for both defendants want their clients released on bond.

Bracci's attorney says Bracci has no criminal record and would live with her grandparents if she's released

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Copyright The Associated Press 2011. All rights reserved. WCSC contributed to this report.