Family will fight for baby-sitter's conviction - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Family will fight for baby-sitter's conviction

August 22, 2004

Americus- Eleven not guilty - one guilty. That was the jury's final vote, and a mistrial was declared in the case of 24 year old Jennifer Tanner.

The Americus baby-sitter was accused of shaking eight month-old Haley Bone to death in October 2003.

The Sumter County courthouse is quiet now, but Saturday it was filled with two very emotional families.

"We are all just extremely grateful that there was one juror that was brave enough to stick to her guns," says Jan Bone, Haley's aunt.

She says innuendos made by the defense about problems in her sister-in-law's marriage distracted the 11 other jurors from convicting Jennifer Tanner.

"This turned into a Bone, Reeves versus Jennifer Tanner when in reality it was the state versus Jennifer Tanner."

"It is unfair to this jury for a comment like that to be made when this jury looked at the evidence for five days non-stop, morning to evening and made up its mind based on the evidence," says Tanner's defense attorney, Bill Murray.

Murray says only one juror thought Tanner was guilty, a woman some other jurors say never really took part in the deliberations.

In a phone interview, juror Larry Duhon, Sr. said the case should end here.

"The District Attorney will never get 12 people to agree she's guilty. She should give it up. There was all the reasonable doubt in the world," Duhon says.

That's doubt that Haley Bone's family doesn't have. Jan Bone says the child's parents, Chad and Susie, went through the same police investigation as Jennifer Tanner, but it was the baby-sitter who was indicted for the murder.

Now, the Bone family will continue to fight for a conviction.

"As hard as it will be for Jennifer Tanner she's going to have to be held accountable for her actions," says Bone.

District attorney Cecilia Cooper says she plans to retry the case.

Posted at 5:45 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com