Judge will not lower bond for mother of missing boy
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH, AP) -- A judge has denied a request to lower the bond for the mother of a South Carolina boy missing since Thanksgiving.
Circuit Judge Casey Manning on Tuesday ordered that Zinah Jennings continue to be held in the Richland County detention center on $150,000 bond. Click here to read Judge Manning's order.
Jennings has been in jail since late December, when police say they arrested her for lying about the whereabouts of her son, Amir. The boy was 18-months-old when his grandmother reported him missing in early December. Police say Jennings has fabricated multiple stories about where he is.
She's charged with unlawful conduct towards a children.
Jennings' attorney said Tuesday he was shocked at the judge's decision. Hemphill Pride II says his client would have a lower bond if authorities were not still looking for her son.
During a Monday hearing, Pride argued police were violating Jennings' constitutional rights by opposing her release on bond.
"She's charged with a crime. For some reason they think that if you're charged with a crime and you don't cooperate with them then you're a flight risk," Pride told Judge Casey Manning. "I submit to you that Ms. Jennings has an absolute right to remain silent and she cannot be punished for it."
Authorities argued Jennings is a flight risk.
Also on Tuesday, a flood of missing posters and yellow ribbons went up in the Columbia neighborhood where Amir Jennings' grandmother lives. The reminders are up on nearly every corner of the historic Waverly Community, and as more times passes since the little boy vanished, the level of concern goes up as well.
"I'm hoping that the mother would come forth and let us know what's going on," said concerned resident Brenda Williams."I have children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and I keep a very close watch on my daughters and my sons. If anything is strange I'm gonna ask because I'm that kind of person. My daughter tells me I'm nosy, but it's good to be nosy, especially when it's your family."
Other residents, who did not want to comment on the record to WACH Fox News, why the boy's family didn't flood the area with the ribbons and posters two months ago when Amir, who was 18-months-old at the time, first disappeared.
There is no answer for those worries at this point, but the concerns are very real.
People aren't only worried on the streets, they are also expressing their concerns about the case online. A Facebook page entitled "Find Amir Jennings" has been set up. Updates are posted about the case back to the early days of the investigation. More than 1,000 people have liked the page.
Police are urging anyone with information about the Amir Jennings case to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. All calls are anonymous and there is a possible $10,000 dollar reward tied to information in the case.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)