The trial of an Atmore teacher and her husband has been postponed after the home of a key prosecution witness blew up in what officials say was a case of arson.
linamfront.jpgIn April, an Escambia County (Ala.) grand jury indicted Tracy Linam, 37, and Terry Desmond Linam, 44, both of Chapman Road, Atmore. Both were arrested on three counts of aggravated child abuse and three counts of domestic violence. The child abuse charges are felonies; the domestic violence charges are misdemeanors.
The couple was accused of “torturing, willfully abusing, cruelly beating or otherwise willfully maltreating a child under the age of 18″, according to court records, including “shoving, cursing, belittling, threatening, pulling or snatching hair”. The children, who were Terry Linam’s from a previous marriage, were given medication to make them sleep, court records say. The abuse was not sexual in nature, according to court documents.
The Linams were scheduled to be tried this past week. But that trail was delayed after the Jack Springs Road home of Ken Brewton, brother of Terry Linam’s ex-wife Marcie Linam, “burned in what amounted to an explosion” at 3 a.m. last Saturday, according to documents from the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.
The Brewton family was reportedly out of town on vacation at the time of the explosion and fire that leveled their home north of Atmore.
The judge that was scheduled to hear the child abuse case recused himself after the Attorney General’s office claimed that Judge Bert Rice was biased against the state because of comments he made in child custody case between Terry Linam and Marcie Linam. The attorney general’s office claimed that Rice had said that there was not adequate evidence in the case and that he would dismiss the charges. His comments reportedly came to a Department of Human Resources Employee.
The case was reassigned to Judge Bradley Byrne and was scheduled to begin last week. Now, officials say the case will be on hold while the investigation into the arson continues.
Tracy Linam is a kindergarten teacher at Rachel Patterson Elementary School in Atmore, where she has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of her trial.