'Bring Sonya Home' case takes another turn - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

'Bring Sonya Home' case takes another turn


The legal battle over custody of a young Dickson girl took another turn in court Thursday.

Judge Andy Jackson's last day on the job is Friday. He promised to decide whether to move 10-year-old Sonya's case to Nebraska or leave it in Tennessee.

Jackson said he is inclined to transfer the case to Nebraska, where Sonya is currently living with her biological father, John McCaul, on a trial basis.

The Department of Children's Services and McCaul's lawyer argue that the case should be transferred.

But attorneys for David and Kim Hodgin, the couple who raised Sonya since she was a toddler, said when she was abandoned and neglected in Tennessee nine years ago, Tennessee took the case.

All the rulings in the case over the last nine years have come from Tennessee.

The Hodgins' attorneys also pointed to a court-appointed psychologist who said taking Sonya from them would be parallel to the trauma of losing an entire family to death.

McCaul's attorney said the last seven months have lead Sonya to change her mind about her biological father and her circumstances.

Jackson has been criticized by the group known as "Bring Sonya Home" for not holding a best interest hearing, as well as for deciding to give Sonya to McCaul after she lived with the Hodgins almost all of her life.

Sonya was abandoned in Tennessee with a Nebraska babysitter when she was only 1-year-old. She was raised by the Hodgins, but then moved to Nebraska just after celebrating her 10th birthday.

The Hodgins believe there is much more to being a parent than biology. They have asked another Tennessee court to sever McCaul's relationship with Sonya based on years of neglect. They also have a petition to adopt Sonya.

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