Tammy Mathis-Lawrence, the woman charged with allegedly stabbing her tenant in the neck, was ordered released to a halfway house until her next hearing on May 9.
In a hearing last week, Lawrence’s lawyer said her client is depressed in jail and her medication is “screwed up” by corrections officers.
Judge Milton C. Lee granted Lawrence a test run at the halfway house, and concluded, “…if [Lawrence] slips up then she will go back to jail.” Lawrence is expected to continue a drug detox program and continue taking medication as prescribed.
According to charging documents, Lawrence was arguing with her tenant, Ricardo Dasilva, about paying rent when she allegedly stabbed him in the neck with a pair of scissors.
In the hearing Friday, the prosecution relied heavily on the testimonials from Ricardo Dasilva’s girlfriend and Lawrence’s boyfriend, who were both in the apartment when the incident happened.
To supply a timeline of events and show what they perceived to be switching statements from Lawrence’s boyfriend, the prosecution showed body camera footage from the night of the stabbing to show recordings of witness testimonials. According to his testimony, Lawrence and Dasilva were speaking calmly at first, so the boyfriend went into his room where the stabbing later occurred. According to the charging documents, the boyfriend told police Dasilva put his hand around Lawrence’s throat and punched her in the face. Lawrence then pulled a pair of scissors out her bra and stabbed Dasilva in the neck.
The prosecution also showed Dasilva’s girlfriend’s statement to police, in which she tells police she overheard initial moments of the incident in which Lawrence went into a room and told Dasilva to not coming in or he would “pay what he weighed.” The prosecution said this suggested a threat.
Lawrence’s lawyer, Judith Pipe began by saying “pay what you weigh” was a reference to paying his share of rent and was not an suggestion of violence. According to both witnesses, Dasilva died in Lawrence’s boyfriend’s arms after he had been stabbed in the neck.
The defense said the trauma Lawrence’s boyfriend experienced led him to slightly change his story in order to fully make sense of it. Pipe also argued Lawrence’s boyfriend was not on their “side.”
The defense focused largely on conditions Lawrence is experiencing in prison.
Judge Lee told both sides to take what the witnesses said “with a grain of salt,” because personal biases will always come into play.
The judge ordered a release of Lawrence to a halfway house and ordered her to model good behavior until her next court date on May 9.