Mother accused of hitting kids on airplane pleads not guilty
DENVER — A Hawai'i woman accused of repeatedly hitting her children and threatening a flight attendant on a San Francisco-to-Denver flight pleaded not guilty yesterday.
Tamera Jo Freeman, 38, is charged with two counts of assault and one count of interfering with a flight attendant.
Freeman was arrested July 16 when her Frontier Airlines flight landed in Denver. Other passengers said she hit her two children on their legs, shoulders and knees, and that the children tried to hide from her, an arrest warrant affidavit said.
Federal Magistrate Judge Craig B. Shaffer ordered her to remain in jail, citing a lack of local ties to ensure she would show up for trial. He also cited "medical issues that I find problematic," but he did not elaborate.
Neither Freeman nor her court-appointed lawyer, Martha Eskesen, asked that she be released on bond. In a hearing last week, Eskesen and prosecutors referred to a "situation" in Hawai'i but did not elaborate.
Records from the Hawai'i Criminal Justice Data Center show that a Tamera Freeman with the same birth date as the woman arrested in Denver was found guilty of abusing a family or household member in 2005 and sentenced to 30 days in jail and a year of probation.
Eskesen requested that sensitive details in the case not be released to the public. Shaffer said he believed some information in Freeman's pretrial service report was private.
Prosecutors earlier said that the pretrial service report recommended Freeman be released to a halfway house but there was no space available.
U.S. attorney's spokesman Jeff Dorschner said Freeman would remain in jail indefinitely pending resolution of her case.
Freeman's children, a 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son, have been placed in the custody of family members in California.