For Immediate Release
June 25, 2021
The State will be prepared and ready to proceed with trial on both of the Hammerly cases. We will fight for justice on both cases independently. The plea agreement scheduled this morning in the Emily Hammerly case was offered in the hopes of limiting the three child victims’ courtroom testimony to one case, not two. It was also unfortunate that inaccurate information circulated regarding the original plea agreement.
As for Emily Hammerly’s case: Emily Hammerly is charged with a D felony of endangering the welfare of a child by allowing her son, Joseph Hammerly, access to these children. She’s also charged with a misdemeanor for failure to report as a mandated reporter in a timely manner.
We believed a plea agreement was an appropriate outcome in this case, based on the facts and the law. Another benefit to the plea agreement was that these three little girls would not be required to be witnesses at trial and subject to cross-examination. Often, such testimony is required to achieve a conviction and withstand an appeal. That is a hard truth in our system and one we are prepared to meet. While some of the families are upset about the circumstances of this plea, others are upset that this is the ultimate outcome for their children. We wish we were able to satisfy all involved while seeking justice through this system. Going forward, we will continue to work to achieve justice.
As for Joseph Hammerly’s case: From our first communication with the victim’s families and our initial charges, we are prepared to proceed to trial on his case, and we will seek justice for the harm done. Joseph Hammerly has been charged with two counts of Statutory Sodomy 1st Degree and a third count of Sexual Misconduct Involving a Child. This case is set for jury trial later this summer.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile : (816) 674-3954
*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded.