Trial date continued for child abuse suspect

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The jury trial for a 29-year-old Bessemer woman who has been charged with causing brain damage to her infant son has been postponed until August to allow attorneys more time to complete discovery, according to court documents filed in early May.

Lunceford

Caitlin Gregory Lunceford, who lists an address on Harpers Dairy Loop in Bessemer and previously listed an address on Windsor Court in Alabaster, originally was set to stand trial beginning on May 7, but the trial was continued until Aug. 13 beginning at 10:30 a.m. “because of outstanding discovery issues,” read a May 2 scheduling order.

Lunceford’s attorney and the prosecutor agreed to the continuance.

A Shelby County grand jury returned a one-count indictment of aggravated child abuse against Lunceford during its October 2014 term. She entered a plea of not guilty to the charge on Dec. 1, 2014, according to court records.

According to Lunceford’s indictment, she allegedly abused her infant son, who was about 2 months old and in Lunceford’s care at the time of the incident, by “striking and/or hitting and punching and/or shaking the victim.” Lunceford’s arrest warrant claimed she caused “brain damage” to the infant during the Jan. 11, 2014, incident.

The Alabaster Police Department arrested Lunceford on Jan. 23, 2014, and charged her with the Class B felony. The suspect was released from the Shelby County Jail on a $30,000 bond the day after her arrest.

In February 2014, Lunceford requested a previous court order denying her contact with her child be lifted, and requested she be allowed supervised visitation for one hour three nights per week. No ruling has been entered on the matter.

In a motion filed in September 2014, Lunceford’s attorneys again requested Lunceford be granted supervised visitation with the child, claiming “The failure of the child to spend time with its mother can create significant long-term adverse consequences with the child.”

If convicted, Lunceford could face up to 20 years in prison.