News section — The Christina Boyer Legal Case
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Update: Christina Boyer's 2015 parole review was scheduled for April 14, 2015. She finally received notice on October 20, 2015 that she was again denied parole. She has to wait another seven years for the next mandatory review by law on April 14, 2022, at which time she will be 52 and imprisoned for 30 years. She was 22 when first taken into custody in the county jail on April 14, 1992. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, however, has the power to review a case at any time.  Georgia Inmate Tentative Parole Month (TPM) Look-up,  Georgia Parole Database (EF# 336633).  Click to learn about a petition asking for Boyer's release.

David Herrin freed: November 16, 2011, David Herrin, the other defendant in the case, became eligible for parole in April 2011, one year before the end of his sentence. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles did not parole him in April 2011 but did so on November 16, 2011, five months before the end of his 20-year prison sentence on April 14, 2012. Herrin was the only one with Boyer's three-year-old daughter Amber during the last six hours of her life. He claimed at his trial that he did not cause the fatal head injury and that the child was acting normal and playing happily throughout the day. In fact, the possibility exists (in the opinion of the author of this website) that no one struck Amber fatally in the head and that she instead had an accident at some point during the day that her babysitter, Mr. Herrin, would not acknowledge to protect himself, as he had a three-year-old daughter of his own, was divorced, and had visitation rights to maintain. The Sheriff and District Attorney, both running election campaigns, believed that foul play was involved and pursued the case from that perspective. Only David Herrin and Christina Boyer know the truth of what happened that day. Boyer passed a court-authorized polygraph test. Herrin would not take one. Parole ended for Mr. Herrin on April 14, 2012, at which time his sentence was completed and he disappeared back into society. He was paroled to an address in Carrollton, Georgia, the city where Boyer and her daughter Amber lived and where Amber is buried. Herrin's rented trailer in 1992 was located outside of the city limits in Carroll County. To view his last public domain prison photo in the state database, do a search here Note: check the box at the bottom of the form for "offenders not currently incarcerated" (photo believed to have been taken just before parole in November 2011).

Notes: Christina Boyer's attorney Richard D. Allen, Jr. died of a heart attack on March 2, 2009 at age 63. A former Georgia prosecutor himself, he was working below fee and finally pro bono (on a volunteer basis) to help get Boyer released because he believed in her innocence. She is now without formal legal representation and relying solely on citizen activism. If you are an attorney and interested in representing Ms. Boyer, please let her know. William G. Roll (pictured holding Amber lower right) died on January 9, 2012 at age 85. Here is a Georgia newspaper article on the legal case calling for a reconsideration of her two convictions: Carroll Star News, January 20, 2008.  Here is a Facebook group page for her.

Where would Christina Boyer go if she is released from prison? One of Tina Boyer's problems in qualifying for parole is that she needs an acceptable "parole to" address. Even if she is first sent to a halfway house, she still needs an address that she could parole to for her application paperwork. If you are interested in helping and are a couple (male/female or two females) or a single female living in the United States with an extra bedroom and might be interested in taking her in as her sponsor and new friend, please contact her directly, or if you first have any questions, contact the owner of this site, James A. Conrad. Due to her past bad relationships with single men, she wishes to steer clear of that at this time and focus on getting released. She can receive and send email through the prison-authorized system, which currently costs each side 40 cents to send. Money for her account can also be sent through Jpay. Near the bottom of this web page there is more information on how to contact her, including by ground mail, which she welcomes. Personally, as a member of the film community myself, I think you might be able to write a book about your shared experience and Hollywood might be interested. If you are a producer and are interested in optioning her childhood paranormal story and/or adult legal case story for a movie, I can advise you on the complexities involved with Georgia law due to her legal status and my overall familiarity with both cases.

One last note: There are many links on this page. If you find one that is no longer working, please report it using the email form on the contact page on this website. Thank you.

The Christina Boyer Legal Case

How an innocent 25-year-old woman of value to science was sentenced, less than 24 hours
after passing a polygraph test, to life plus 20 years in an American prison without a trial.

by James A. Conrad, January 20, 2006

CARROLLTON, GEORGIA, USA — On Monday, October 24, 1994, 25-year-old Christina "Tina" Boyer, no longer the 14-year-old "telekinetic girl" in Columbus, Ohio known as Tina Resch, who was the subject of parapsychology research and news media stories in the mid 1980s concerning the alleged paranormal movement of objects witnessed by many in her adopted family's home, but now known by her married divorced name of Christina Boyer, or Tina Boyer, was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years for the murder — State of Georgia District Attorney Peter J. Skandalakis and Assistant District Attorney Anne Allen alleged — of her three-year-old daughter Amber, who had died over two and a half years earlier on April 14, 1992 in Carrollton, Georgia. Christina Boyer is currently serving that sentence, with a chance for parole or pardon, in Pulaski State Prison in Hawkinsville, Georgia in the southeastern United States.

The 2004 book Unleashed — Of Poltergeists and Murder: The Curious Story of Tina Resch by psychologist William Roll, Ph.D., and Valerie Storey makes a compelling argument that Christina Boyer is innocent of the charge of murdering her only child. I have reviewed evidence in her legal case beyond that which is referred to in Unleashed, including transcripts of court testimony, transcripts of court proceedings, transcripts of audiotapes, police reports, the hospital's emergency room reports, the autopsy report, post-mortem and autopsy photos, photos taken at the time of the locations involved, and various other pieces of evidence and I agree with that conclusion. Christina Boyer is innocent of both criminal charges for which she was convicted.
Tina Resch Boyer (on right), 22, with her daughter Amber, 3, in Georgia, November 28, 1991, visiting friends Dr. Bill Roll, Ph.D., a psychologist, parapsychologist, and university professor, and his wife Lydia, MS, a licensed professional counselor, for what would be their last Thanksgiving holiday dinner together. Photo: William G. Roll.
Many things about this legal case are troubling:
  • Boyer was not found guilty by a jury and the trial process. After waiting over two and a half years in the Carroll County jail for a trial, her court-appointed lawyer, Jimmy Berry, whom she rarely saw, suddenly visited her and advised her that the safest course of action would be to accept a plea agreement he had worked out with District Attorney Skandalakis and Assistant D.A. Allen. With the start of the trial just days away, on a date strangely chosen by the court to be Halloween, October 31, 1994, and facing death by electrocution, Boyer decided that to save her life, she had to accept the plea agreement: an Alford plea, a type in which the defendant does not admit guilt and asserts innocence, but agrees to accept a lesser punishment (life plus 20 years in prison with the possibility of parole in this instance) rather than risk receiving a greater one (certain death). In a handwritten letter to her friends written in jail, she wrote:

    "I know that my decision to go ahead Monday with the offered plea may seem like I'm giving up. Please try to understand that I'm scared."
Tina Resch Boyer, 1994, waiting in Carroll County jail over 2 1/2 years for her trial.
  • Boyer passed a polygraph test administered by a court-certified examiner at the county jail less than 24 hours before her sentencing that indicated her innocence. The court paid for the test and the positive results were entered into the court record at her sentencing on October 24, 1994. Despite this, the prosecutor and judge allowed the plea deal and sentencing to proceed. The judge resigned in 2012 while being investigated for "allegations of judicial misconduct" unrelated to this case.
  • Jimmy Berry, the attorney, never interviewed psychologist Jeannie Lagle, the main alibi witness in the case, whom Boyer was with working on a book project for nearly six hours when her daughter died while in the custody of her new boyfriend of less than two months, David Herrin, who was babysitting that day.
  • During his time on the case, Berry filed a "letter of conflict" with the court indicating that he was working on 88 other cases in Georgia, including another high profile murder case, at the same time that he was representing Boyer. He had never had a death penalty conviction in any of his previous cases and a plea agreement ensured quickly that there would be no trial.
  • The District Attorney, Peter J. Skandalakis, and the Sheriff, Jack Bell, who arrested Tina in 1992 despite having access to contrary evidence from the medical examiner, were running political campaigns that year. They won their elections that November.
  • The boyfriend, David Paul Herrin, would not take a polygraph test. He was the only one with three-year-old Amber during the last six hours of her life. In the hospital emergency room, he was heard by Boyer and Jeannie Lagle making the comment, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." A jury never heard that evidence.
  • The jury in David Herrin's case found him innocent of murder on February 3, 1995 at the conclusion of his week-long trial essentially because Boyer had already accepted a plea bargain three months earlier on October 24, 1994. In fact, Herrin's attorney made a point of passing around a certified copy of Boyer's signed plea/sentencing document so that every member of the jury could hold it in their hands and look at it. The fact that District Attorney Peter J. Skandalakis changed his mind shortly before Herrin's trial and removed the death penalty possibility from his case probably also influenced the jury's decision in Herrin's favor. The jury instead found Herrin guilty of the lesser charge of failing to seek medical treatment and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He is eligible for early release on April 14, 2011 and must be released by April 14, 2012.
  • One of Boyer's two convictions, for which she was sentenced to 20 years, was for "causing bodily harm to Amber Bennett by seriously disfiguring a member of her body to wit: her pancreas." However, according to the testimony of the medical examiner (found in a section below), who was the State of Georgia's chief medical witness, the injury, caused according to Boyer by a fall on a "big wheel" tricycle's handlebar while playing, was so minor that there would have been no external symptoms. The medical examiner thus refuted the State's claim. It was a trumped up charge in the indictment by the District Attorney not supported by the evidence. Attorney for Herrin: "You wouldn't say that the pancreas was seriously disfigured." Medical Examiner: "I wouldn't use that terminology."
  • State of Georgia Code 16-10-8:
    "An officer or employee of the state or any political subdivision thereof or other person authorized by law to make or give a certificate or other writing who knowingly makes and delivers such a certificate or writing containing any statement which he knows to be false shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years."

    State of Georgia Code 16-10-20:
    "False statements and writings, concealment of facts, and fraudulent documents in matters within jurisdiction of state or political subdivisions
    A person who knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; makes a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or makes or uses any false writing or document, knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of state government or of the government of any county, city, or other political subdivision of this state shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, or both."
  • Boyer's murder conviction was not for inflicting any physical injury to her daughter, but for failing to seek medical attention for the injury that caused her death. However, the medical examiner testified at the trial of David Herrin that Amber died of head trauma received within 0 - 30 minutes of her death. During the time frame when the fatal injury occurred, Boyer was at the home of psychologist Jeannie Lagle and had been for nearly six hours working on the manuscript for a book about her earlier life experiences as a teenager being researched by science. When she returned to the trailer home of Herrin, who did not own a phone, she found him standing on the front porch and her daughter inside in bed already deceased. She then rushed the child to the emergency room, but by then it was too late. The autopsy was performed on April 15, 1992, the morning after's Amber's death, and Boyer and Herrin were formally charged in an arraignment on December 20, 1993. Despite having access to this alibi information and the medical examiner for consultation for one year and eight months, the District Attorney charged Boyer with murder in the indictment he presented to the grand jury (see bottom of this page).
    State of Georgia Code 16-1-5:
    "Every person is presumed innocent until proved guilty. No person shall be convicted of a crime unless each element of such crime is proved beyond a reasonable doubt."

    State of Georgia Code 16-3-40:
    "The defense of alibi involves the impossibility of the accused's presence at the scene of the offense at the time of its commission. The range of the evidence in respect to time and place must be such as reasonably to exclude the possibility of presence."
  • In September 1996, Boyer, in prison for life and desperate for any legal help, was prompted by a 65-year-old amatuer legal sleuth from Texas, John Riggle (1930-2007), into filing an ill-advised civil lawsuit (3:96-CV-115-JTC) against nearly everyone in the case (the Board of Pardons and Paroles was not named in the suit or the the subject of any allegations, but the State of Georgia was included). The suit was correctly dismissed by U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp on January 27, 1997 because Georgia law required Boyer's convictions to have been reversed before she could sue. Among those who would have been served the lawsuit papers were "District Attorney Peter John Skandalaklis, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Hunt, Assistant District Attorney Anne Allen" and "District Attorney's investigator Ellen Rainy." Though misguided at the time, the value of the lawsuit today, however, is that it establishes that the three above-named prosecutors involved in the case and others were made aware that Boyer's two convictions were being challenged as improper and contrary to Georgia law. The prosecutors decided to take no action to correct the claimed miscarriage of justice and cannot claim today to have been unaware all the years since that their actions in the case were being questioned. From the Court's Dismissal:
    "Plaintiff names twenty-two defendants and lists fifty paragraphs of allegations in her complaint. Nearly every paragraph of the Plaintiff's complaint is directed against the Plaintiff's conviction. The Plaintiff pled guilty to the aggravated assault and murder of her three-year-old daughter, and was convicted and sentenced to life plus twenty years imprisonment. Plaintiff's numerous allegations attacking her conviction include claims, inter alia that her confession was involuntary, the she was denied a speedy trial, that witnesses committed perjury, that the prosecutors and other officials fabricated evidence, and that the laws under which she was convicted are unconstitutional. ... The Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that her conviction or sentence has been invalidated. Therefore, all such claims must be and are HEREBY DISMISSED. IT IS SO ORDERED, this 27th day of January, 1997. Signature, JACK T. CAMP, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE"
  • The online Contact Registry on the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles website is presenting an inaccurate record of the amount and names of the public who have contacted them regarding Boyer's case. My name, James A. Conrad, is not included, for example, despite writing the Board a four-page letter dated September 24, 2007 on my author's letterhead providing the key evidence as detailed on this web page and requesting a pardon consideration for Boyer as part of her mandatory parole review. I never received a reply to my letter and a follow-up email to the webmaster of the site inquiring why my contact was not included was never answered. There are other names also missing of which I learned during my research and it is not known how many others there are beyond that. Consequently, I must advise any news media looking into this case viewing the Board Contact Registry that it is not a reliable indicator of the extent of the public's concern and support for Boyer's release.

  • Lastly, for Boyer's most recent denial of pardon/parole in 2007 (not decided until 2008), the Board did not issue a press release on their website informing the news media and public of its decision, which it normally does for murder cases. If it had issued a press release, the news media would likely have done online research to see how newsworthy the story was and found out about Boyer's case through this website and others.

How Long Has Christina Boyer Been Imprisoned?

Years: Days: Hours: Mins: Secs:
Christina Boyer has been in jail / prison in this case since the age of 22. She was officially arrested on April 16, 1992 (the date the arrest warrant was issued), but had been in custody since April 14, 1992. She was sentenced the day after her 25th birthday on October 24, 1994. Age today: 46 on October 23, 2015.

For the record, including future historians researching this case, here are some of the names of people involved:

Tina/Christina Boyer . . . Age 22 on April 14, 1992. Full name: Christina Elaine Boyer. Maiden name: Christina "Tina" Resch. Middle name is sometimes spelled Elaina. Birthdate: October 23, 1969. Age: 46 on October 23, 2015. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Christina Boyer a pardon or parole in 2015 in her last mandatory review as required by Georgia law every seven years. Her next mandatory parole review is expected to be April 14, 2022 at age 52 and after being imprisoned 30 years. If new information becomes available that changes that date, it will be posted here. OFFICIAL CURRENT PRISON INFO

Amber Gail Bennett . . . Boyer's only daughter, age 3 (September 29, 1988 - April 14, 1992). Bennett is the last name of one of Boyer's divorced husbands, but who had no biological relation to Amber. Boyer was 18 when Amber was born and she has not publicly named the father.

David Herrin . . . Boyer's new boyfriend of less than two months in early 1992 and babysitter of Amber when she died; age 29 on April 14, 1992. Was paroled on November 16, 2011 to a Carrollton, Georgia address. Herrin's rented trailer where Amber died was just outside of the Carrollton city limits. Completion of parole and sentence: April 14, 2012. Full name: David Paul Herrin. Birthdate: August 4, 1962. To view his last public domain prison photo in the state database: OFFICIAL CURRENT PRISON INFO (photo believed to have been taken just before parole in November 2011).

Jimmy D. Berry . . . Boyer's court-appointed Georgia attorney in the early 1990s. Also known as Jimmy Berry and Jim Berry

Richard D. Allen, Jr. . . . Boyer's attorney during her parole consideration in 2007/2008. He was a former prosecutor in Georgia and believed that Boyer should never have been arrested. He died of a heart attack on March 2, 2009. OBITUARY.

Superior Court Judge William F. Lee, Jr. . . . The judge who presided over Boyer's case. He resigned in 2012 while being investigated by the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission for "allegations of judicial misconduct" unrelated to this case. He sentenced Boyer to life in prison at the age of 25 (jailed since 22) less than 24 hours after she had passed a polygraph examination, allowed the conviction and additional 20-year sentence for the false pancreas injury injury charge, earlier heard court motions in both cases, and set trial dates. He set Boyer's trial, which subsequently did not happen, to begin on Halloween, October 31, 1994. Article with photo: "Coweta's Judge Lee retiring amid probe" | "Coweta chief judge to leave bench amid probe"

Superior Court Judge Dewey Smith . . . The judge who presided over the trial of David Herrin. He retired on Dec. 31, 1996 and died on September 29 2001 of Parkinson's disease. OBITUARY.

(D.A.) Peter J. Skandalakis . . . The Georgia District Attorney for the Coweta Judicial Circuit District who prosecuted Christina Boyer's and David Herrin's cases. According to a Times-Georgian newspaper article, he was age 36 in July 1992. He was first elected to office in 1992 after serving less than a year as interim D.A. when the then current District Attorney retired. He ran unopposed in 2004, 2008, and 2012. In the 2004 election, he switched his political party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. His current term expires in 2016. If he runs again for D.A., the election date will be November 8, 2016. Also known as Peter Skandalakis, Pete Skandalakis, or Peter "Pete" Skandalakis. Quoted also in local newspaper articles on the case (sampling): May 27, 1992 Times-Georgian, District attorney considers seeking death in abuse case by Mark Griggs Jr: "'I will be reviewing the file and all the evidence and a decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made when the investigation is complete,' said Pete Skandalakis, District attorney for the Coweta Judicial Circuit." | Ocober 25, 1994 Times-Georgian, Boyer pleads guilty, gets life plus 20 by Mark Griggs Jr: "Boyer would be eligible for parole on the felony murder charge in seven years, but Skandalakis said he does not expect her to be out of prison any time soon." PHOTO and CONTACT INFO. Press release: Named Georgia 2007 District Attorney of the Year.

Anne Allen . . . Assistant District Attorney in the Carroll County D.A. Office (one of the D.A. Offices in the five counties covered by the Coweta Judicial Circuit District). She helped prosecute Christina Boyer's and David Herrin's cases. Also known as Anne C. Allen. She is still the Assistant District Attorney there today. The crime occurred in Carroll County, so her office in the District was heavily involved in the investigation, indictments, and prosecution. Quoted also in local newspaper articles on the case (sampling): April 14, 1994 The Times-Georgian newspaper, Child's death remains unresolved after two years. Suspects will be tried separately by Mark Griggs Jr: "... Amber was buried in the Easter dress her mother had bought her. Assistant District Attorney Anne Allen, a new mother of twins, has kept the case in her mind. 'There's not a day that goes by I don't think about this case in some regards,' she said. 'The last two years, this case has been on my mind. I'm looking forward to a trial date on this. 'Of all the cases I've ever handled, this is the only one I can tell you the date it happened. I remember it to the day - April 14,' Allen said." | May 26, 1999 The Times-Georgian newspaper, Parole denied for woman convicted in child's death by Ian Bishop: "Assistant District Attorney Anne Allen assisted District Attorney Pete Skandalakis in the case. ... "It was so incredibly horrible," said Allen. "It was one of the most emotional cases I've been involved with. I will never forget this case." . . . Allen and the others of the prosecution team were active in blocking Boyer's parole bid."

Jack Bell . . . Sheriff of Carroll County, Georgia (1985-1996); age 61 in April 1992. Re-elected to office in 1992. Was the Chief of Police of the City of Carrollton before becoming Sheriff. Retired as Sheriff in 1996 and was elected to the Carroll County Commission, where he served as Chairman until he retired from that position in 2001. He died on May 21, 2004 at age 73. OBITUARY: Villa Rica Voice | AP article | PHOTO (1984 while Carrollton Chief of Police).

(M.E.) Steven F. Dunton . . . Medical examiner who performed Amber's autopsy and was the State's chief medical witness. At the time, he was also a board-certified pediatrician with children of his own and a newborn on the way. He also had experience as an emergency room physician.

Kenneth W. Krontz . . . Herrin's court-appointed attorney, based in Douglasville, Georgia. He died on April 28, 2008 at age 56, cause of death not available. OBITUARY.

Jeannie Lagle . . . The psychologist whose home Boyer was at working on a book manuscript when Amber died at Herrin's trailer, about a 20 minute drive away. Ms. Lagle was one of the researchers in Chapel Hill, South Carolina who assisted Dr. William Roll in the investigation of Tina's telekinetic past when Tina was a teenager and visited there to be studied. Mentioned in the book Unleashed. She has a masters degree in psychology. In the court transcripts below, the court reporter misspells her name as "Jennie."

Det. Captain Mike Bradley . . . City of Carrollton police detective who questioned Christina Boyer and David Herrin on the night of April 14, 1992.

Det. Lieutenant Mike Thomas . . . City of Carrollton police detective who questioned Christina Boyer and David Herrin at the hospital and police station.

Dep. Wren Culver . . . Carroll County female Sheriff's deputy who questioned Christina Boyer and David Herrin on the night of April 14, 1992, along with other law enforcement officers. Herrin's rented mobile home (also called a trailer) was located outside the city limits of Carrollton in Carroll County, so there was overlapping jurisdiction of the case. She was also the arresting officer in the case. She swore out the affidavit that was presented to a Judge Magistrate on April 16, 1992, who then issued the arrest warrant for Tina, who was already being held in the County jail. Wren Culver reportedly left the Sheriff's Department in 1997.

Kathy Carswell . . . David Herrin's ex-wife; testified at his trial as a character witness. Mother of Ashley, Herrin's own three-year-old daughter who sometimes played with Amber when Herrin had weekend custody. Herrin's daughter was not visiting on the day Amber died.

W.A. Robinson . . . Court-certified polygraph examiner. The Court paid for Boyer's polygraph examination.

William Roll / William G. Roll . . . Author, Oxford University-educated former Professor of Psychology and Psychical Research at the State University of West Georgia (West Georgia University) in Carrollton, Georgia. He has a Ph.D. degree in psychology and researched Tina's case in 1984 and thereafter. He co-wrote the 2004 book Unleashed — Of Poltergeists and Murder: The Curious Story of Tina Resch. He died on January 9, 2012 at age 85 OBITUARY.

Jury members in Herrin trial . . . The names of the jurors are not known.

Grand Jury members who authorized the indictment of Boyer . . . The names of the jurors in the grand jury, which is a secret process, are not known.

Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles The Board members and some of the Board employees involved in Boyer's case (information subject to change):
  • Terry Barnard (current Member) bio & pic
  • James W. Mills (current Member) bio & pic
  • Albert Murray (current Member) bio & pic
  • Braxton T. Cotton (current Member) bio & pic
  • Brian Owens (current Member) bio & pic
  • James E. Donald (past Member) bio & pic
  • L. Gale Buckner (past Member; term: 1-Jan-2005 to 31-Dec-2011) bio & pic
  • Garland R. Hunt (past Member; was Chairman until June 30, 2008, and a Member until May 14, 2010; one of his last acts as Chairman in June 2008 was to decline reconsideration of Boyer's case to the full Board) bio & pic
  • Garfield Hammonds, Jr. (past Member, term: 14 years, 10-Jan-1995 to 31-Dec-2008) bio & pic
  • Robert E. Keller (past Member; term: 3-Jan-2007 to 31-Dec-2013) Mr Keller is a former attorney and Chairman of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia, an organization that in 2007 awarded Mr. Skandalakis, who was the prosecutor in Boyer's case, the title honor of Georgia District Attorney of the Year. bio & pic
  • Milton E. Nix, Jr. (past Member, term: 7 years, 13-Jun-2001 to 31-Dec-2009) bio & pic
  • Walter Ray (was Chairman in 1999 when the Board denied Boyer's first chance at parole, a review of which is mandated for prisoners by state law every seven years. Ray resigned on June 13, 2002 amid a corruption scandal investigation involving his taking consulting fees for lobbying.)
  • Bobby Whitworth (was a Member in 1999 when the Board denied parole. He resigned on June 13, 2002 along with Chairman Walter Ray amid a corruption scandal investigation.)
  • Walt Davis (Director, Clemency Division).
  • Amber Samples (Hearing Examiner).
Board of Pardons and Paroles regulation (from the Board's website):
"A pardon may be granted to a person who, to the Board's satisfaction, proves his innocence of the crime for which he was convicted under Georgia law. Newly available evidence proving the person's complete justification or non-guilt may be the basis for granting a pardon. Application may be submitted in any written form any time after conviction. The Parole Board sets a very high standard for pardons based upon innocence. In its sixty-plus year history, the Parole Board has granted less than five pardons based upon innocence."
[Note: one of the pardons was granted in 2005 to the only woman the state has executed, Lena Baker. She was pardoned 60 years after her execution.]

State of Georgia Code 45-10-3:
"Code of ethics for members of boards, commissions, and authorities -- Establishment and text.
Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, each member of all boards, commissions, and authorities created by general statute shall:
(1) Uphold the Constitution, laws, and regulations of the United States, the State of Georgia, and all governments therein and never be a party to their evasion;"

State of Georgia Code 45-3-1:
"Oaths required in addition to oath of office and constitutional oath.
Every public officer shall:
(6) Swear that he or she will support the Constitution of the United States and of this state;"

State of Georgia Code 16-10-1:
"Violation of oath by public officer.
Any public officer who willfully and intentionally violates the terms of his oath as prescribed by law shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years."
Excerpt of attorney Richard D. Allen's letter to Board Chairman Hunt, May 20, 2008

[The following is an excerpt of a letter mailed to the then Board of Pardons and Paroles Chairman Garland R. Hunt asking him to reconsider Boyer's case after the Board had rejected her for parole or pardon for her 2007 consideration as required by law. Chairman Hunt, in a written response, refused reconsideration and let the Board's decision stand.]

Attorney Richard D. Allen, Jr.: "... How could she be guilty of any murder when no one claims that she was even present? And following that line of reason, how could she be guilty of not getting medical aid for the child, when she did not know of what occurred at the home until after the fact? ... If Herrin's trial had come first (from where this testimony comes) then Ms. Boyer could not have even been charged with these crimes. This testimony of the medical examiner would have been on the record for all to know. ..."

Quotes from Court Documents

The murder, aggravated assault, and child cruelty trial of David Paul Herrin began on Monday, January 30, 1995 in Carrollton, Georgia, United States, and ended the same week on Friday, February 3, 1995. Christina Boyer was brought to court and testified on the first day. Of special interest below is the testimony of the State's chief witness, the  medical examiner  (highlighted in blue) Steven Dunton. Three-year-old Amber Gail Bennett spent the last six hours of her life alone with 29-year-old David Herrin and the medical examiner's testimony establishes that the fatal head injury occurred within 30 minutes of her becoming deceased. Christina Boyer left Herrin's rented trailer home with Amber alive at approximately 12:40-12:45 pm to go work on the manuscript for a book (about her earlier life experiences as a teenager being researched by science) at the home of psychologist Jeannie Lagle. She arrived back at the trailer around 6:30 pm — nearly six hours later — and found her daughter dead in Herrin's bed. Boyer was not present when the fatal injury occurred, was not notified of her daughter's critical condition by Herrin until after her daughter had died, and yet was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison for not getting her daughter medical treatment for the fatal injury that resulted in her death.

Testimony — Trial of David Herrin

David Herrin's attorney, Kenneth Krontz, has him admit early in his testimony that he was engaged in criminal activity for his employers before he was fired on April 10th, four days before Amber died. He drove heavy delivery trucks for three companies throughout the southeast without the necessary commercial driver's license. (2 quotes):
Herrin:  I was driving illegally for Mr. Tidwell for approximately -- since the first of the year, first of '92.
— David Herrin testimony at his trial, page 635, lines 19-21.

Herrin:  I was driving illegally for him.
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  When you say Tidwell, do you mean Tidmore?
Herrin:  Tidmore. I call him Mr. Tidwell. It just shows you how good I knew him. I was driving for three different companies and it just seems like it was strange that he's the only one that complained about me.
— Herrin testimony, page 672, lines 12-18.

Herrin gets caught in a discrepancy about being fired from his job. Amber died on Tuesday, the 14th. (1 quote):
Herrin:  See, I was laid off before then and you know that. I was laid off, fired, terminated, however you want to define it.
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  You were fired on Friday, the 10th.
Herrin:  Terminated.
D.A.:  But you told the police you were laid off.
Herrin:  Well, that was a mistake. I meant terminated...
— Herrin testimony, page 671, lines 14-20.

Herrin and his attorney attempt to influence the jury in their favor by portraying 29-year-old Herrin as a regular guy, a good ol' boy. Here he is questioned by his attorney and responds as if following a script. In the first quote, he is discussing going job-hunting on the morning of Amber's death and refers to attending the special occasion of Easter church services that upcoming Sunday. He unfortunately chose to pay for cable TV service for his trailer instead of a telephone. (3 quotes):
Krontz:  Did you get a job?
Herrin:  Well, it was fill applications out and they'd get back to me. I don't have a phone so I give them my mom's phone number and address and if they got ahold of her, I'd see her on Sunday at church and we'd straighten it out then.
Krontz:  Okay. You didn't have a phone in your trailer?
Herrin:  No, sir. I couldn't afford one at the time because I'd gone through bankruptcy.
Krontz:  What time did you go back to the trailer? What time did you get back?
Herrin:  Probably, it was between 10:30 and 11:30. I didn't look at my watch. I just knowed it wasn't after twelve, I know.
— Herrin testimony, page 655, line 25; continued page 656, lines 1-12.

Herrin:  I went into the living room, changed channels, want to say a pre-recorded race was on t.v. I've been into NASCAR for --
Krontz:  Did you drink a beer and fall asleep in the chair?
Herrin:  I believe I did. I don't think I even finished the beer as a matter of fact.
— Herrin testimony, page 663, 10-16.

Krontz:  How long were you in the military?
Herrin:  A little over two years.
Krontz:  In the Army?
Herrin:  Yes, sir.
— Herrin testimony, page 672, lines 12-18.

Herrin saw no bruises on Amber on April 9th, the day before he was fired. A maintenance man at Boyer's apartment also testified that he saw no bruises on her the 9th. She died on the 14th. (1 quote):
Herrin:  On the 9th I don't recall her having a bruise on her.
Herrin testimony, page 702, lines 9-10.

Mr. Herrin on giving his three-year-old daughter baths when she visited and unusual fondness for taking baths himself (1 quote):
Herrin:  I mean like Ashley, I give her one once a day. It's like when I take one, I'll take one once a day and sometimes twice.
— Herrin testimony, page 652, lines 20-22.

Mr. Herrin makes a joke at Amber's expense. (2 quotes):
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  I still want to understand how you put this little girl in a tub to bathe herself... I want to know what she was doing in that tub by herself.
Herrin:  Well, I mean, surely you didn't want me to get in the tub with her.
D.A.:  That's funny. That's really funny. You know.
— Herrin testimony, page 690, lines 17, 19-23.

D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis: Your Honor, the State would move to admit into evidence State's Exhibit #36 identified by Mr. Herrin as the bathtub in his house.
— Herrin testimony, page 710, 20-22.

 Medical examiner  Steven Dunton testifies that no "serious disfigurement" of Amber's pancreas occurred, as claimed in the indictment by the District Attorney. According to the testimony, there were two tiny superficial scratches on the pancreas measuring "several millimeters" in length. The edge of a U.S. five-cent coin (nickel) is two millimeters. The medical examiner would have had to put the pancreas under a magnifying glass in order to get a more precise measurement. The injury was so minor, in fact, there would have been no symptoms for Boyer to be aware of and it would not show up on an X-ray. No medical treatment would have been necessary or even possible, as it would have required far more dangerous major invasive surgery to even discover it. Boyer testified that the injury occurred when Amber fell on her plastic "big wheel" tricycle while playing. First, the District Attorney qualifies Dr. Dunton as an expert witness for the State. (5 quotes):
The Court:  Dr. Steven Dunton, called as a witness by the State, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows. Direct examination, by Mr. Skandalakis:
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  Please tell the jury your name.
Medical examiner Steven Dunton:  Steven Frank Dunton, M. D.
D.A.:  And Dr. Dunton, where do you work?
M.E.:  I'm employed primarily by the Fulton County Medical Examiners Office in Atlanta. I work under contract with the State Crime Laboratory. I also perform my job with some of the outlying counties as well.
D.A.:  And Dr. Dunton, would you please tell the jury some of your credentials?
M.E.:  I graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1982. I completed a three year residency in pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma. I followed that with a year of training in pediatric hematology and oncology at Emory University. That was followed by three years of residency in anatomic pathology at Emory University followed by one year of training in forensic pathology at the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office. I'm board certified in pediatrics, anatomic pathology and forensic pathology.
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  And Dr. Dunton, would you please tell the jury what a forensic pathologist does?
M.E.:  A forensic pathologist is a physician who is a pathologist who specifically works in the medical/legal field. A forensic pathologist is called upon to investigate deaths that either occur by violent means or by unexplained sometimes natural means.
D.A.:  We would tender Dr. Dunton in as an expert at this point.
The Court:  Do you want to voir dire him on his expertise?
Krontz:  No, your honor. I have spoken with him. I would agree that he's an expert in this field.
The Court:  You may question him as an expert witness in his field.
— Medical examiner Steven Dunton testimony, page 397, lines 1-25; continued page 398, lines 1-13.

The Court:  Further Direct Examination by Mr. Skandalakis:
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  Dr. Dunton, not only are you a pediatrician but you have children of your own. How old are your children?
M.E.:  I have a six-year-old daughter, a two-and-a-half year-old son and I have a new baby due in about five weeks.
D.A.:  You also testify not only as a professional but as a parent you observe children, correct?
M.E.:  Yes.
— Medical examiner Steven Dunton testimony, page 465, lines 1-9.

Testimony about the pancreas injury:

Attorney Kenneth Krontz (attorney for David Herrin):   So in reality, we're talking about a couple of very, very small injuries to the pancreas in this child. Isn't that correct?
M.E.:  That's right.
— Medical examiner Steven Dunton testimony, page 457, lines 4-7.

Krontz:  Is it true that these injuries to the child, the lacerations, probably would have healed themselves without medical intervention?
M.E.:  I think that's probably true.
Krontz:  And is it true that these lacerations that you discovered in your autopsy could not have interfered with the function of the pancreas?
M.E.:  I don't think they would, no.
— Medical examiner Steven Dunton testimony, page 457, lines 12-19.

Krontz:  So we don't have a situation where any of these injuries caused the loss of use of the pancreas?
M.E.:  In the long run, no, I don't think there would -- if she had survived, I don't think there would have been any long term complications with her pancreas.
Krontz:  And the injury to the pancreas was not such that the pancreas was split open or anything that would require its surgical removal?
M.E.:  No, I don't believe that's ever done any way. I think there's some attempt made to repair it but the injuries were rather small indicating a large amount of force had been used to accomplish them but the pancreas injuries in and of themselves probably were not life threatening.
Krontz:  So we don't have a loss of the pancreas?
M.E.:  No, I think, as I said, if she had survived, I think the pancreas would have restored its normal function.
Krontz:  And we don't have a loss of use of the pancreas?
M.E.:  No.
Krontz:  One other concept I need to talk to you about and that is, these are very small injuries, several millimeters, which is pretty dang small, right?
M.E.:  Yes.
Krontz:  Would you say that these injuries impaired the appearance of that child?
M.E.:  The pancreatic injuries in and of themselves?
Krontz:  Yes, sir.
M.E.:  There would be no external sign that the pancreas is injured.
— Medical examiner Steven Dunton testimony, page 468, lines 11-25; continued page 469, lines 1-13.

Attorney Krontz:  You wouldn't say that the pancreas was seriously disfigured.
Medical Examiner:  I wouldn't use that terminology.
Krontz:  Thank you. That's all I have.
— Medical examiner Steven Dunton testimony, page 469, lines 16-19.

From the Indictment:
Count four charges you, Christina Boyer, with the offense of aggravated assault.  In that count you are charged:  in Carroll County, Georgia on the date of on and between April 10th, 1992 and April 14th, 1992 you did then and there unlawfully and maliciously cause bodily harm to Amber Bennett by seriously disfiguring a member of her body to wit:  her pancreas, contrary to laws of this State, the good order, peace and dignity thereof.
(Boyer agreed to plead guilty and was convicted and sentenced to 20 years for the above crime as worded in the indictment that did not occur. If the judge and prosecution team allowed her to be convicted of a crime that did not occur, it raises questions about the entire case.)

Mr. Herrin and Amber drive back 1-1/2 hours alone in the rain on Sunday, April 12th after dropping his daughter Ashley off. While driving, he remembers Tina's instruction to stop and get medicine for Amber, thus indicating she cared for her daughter's health: (1 quote):
Herrin:  It took a little bit longer than normal to get home but we went back and Christina reminded me to stop by some drug store and get some more children's Tylenol, some elixer or something for Amber's fever and so I stopped by the one right there off of Highway 5...
— Herrin testimony, page 649, lines 24-25; continued page 650, lines 1-4.

Tina testifies as to Amber's fever and her medical treatment given: (1 quote):
Tina:  David had the flu a couple of days some time during the week and Amber seemed to have caught it. She had diarrhea. She had a slight fever.
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  And that was on the 11th.
Tina:  Yes.
D.A.:  On the 12th, which would have been a Sunday, did you notice any more bruising on the child?
Tina:  No.
D.A.:  How about the diarrhea or fever?
Tina:  I can't remember exactly what day it cleared up. She seemed to have no more diarrhea and the fever went away. I had given her Tylenol for it.
— Tina Boyer's testimony at Herrin trial, Jan 30, 1995, page 341, 21-25; continued 342, lines 1-7.

Boyer testifies that she saw Amber fall on her plastic big wheel tricycle on Saturday April 11th. (1 quote):
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  Do you recall giving the police a statement and I'm talking about on that Saturday, of how the child received injuries, other than the fall from the steps, step?
Boyer:  Other than the -- no, except playing in her toy box and a big wheel in the house.
D.A.:  That's what I'm talking about.
Boyer:  Yes.
D.A.:  What about the big wheel?
Boyer:  She was playing on her big wheel and it toppled over.
D.A.:  And how do you know that?
Boyer:  Because I was sitting there watching her.
D.A.:  You saw that?
Boyer:  Yes I did.
D.A.:  That's all.
Krontz:  Nothing further. Thank you.
The Court:  You may go down. (Witness withdraws from courtroom.)
— Tina Boyer testimony at Herrin trial, Jan 30, 1995, page 346, lines 3-10.

 Medical examiner  Steven Dunton comments on the fatal head injury at Herrin's trial. Dr. Dunton was also a pediatrician and an emergency room physician familiar with child injuries. Amber was alone with Herrin for about the last six hours of her life. Boyer left Herrin's rented trailer home to go to psychologist Jeannie Lagle's home to work together on her autobiography approximately 12:40-12:45 pm and arrived back at the trailer around 6:30 pm. Amber was alive when Boyer left, deceased when she returned.

In the testimony below, medical examiner Dunton is referring to Amber's death as a result of an acute subdural hematoma, in which symptoms occur rapidly after a head injury, as opposed to the subacute or chronic kind, in which slower bleeding is involved. Herrin described Amber acting "normal" and being "as happy as could be" watching cartoons, talking, eating various meals, and playing indoors and outdoors throughout the day while alone with him for nearly six hours, which would be inconsistent with a child suffering from an acute internally bleeding head injury. A three-year-old child's skull has less space between the brain and skull than an adult and blood collects and presses against the brain more rapidly.

The District Attorney and judge chose to disregard the medical examiner's evidence that gave Boyer an alibi. (5 quotes):

District Attorney Peter J. Skandalakis:  ...Doctor, in your opinion, what was the cause of death of this child?
Medical examiner Steven Dunton:  Primarily it was the blunt force trauma she received to her head.
— Medical examiner Dunton testimony, page 432, lines 4-7.

M.E.:'s hard to conceive that there would be any significant period of time following such an injury that the child seems perfectly fine and then later the symptoms kick in. That's just not the way it happens. Either there's going to be injury and then starting a very slow deterioration of her consciousness and her activity and her appetite, etc. or beginning with the injury there may be very rapid decrease in those symptoms but there is not going to be a long period of normalcy.
— Medical examiner Steven Dunton testimony, page 461, lines 20-25; continued page 462, lines 1-3.

M.E.:  As I said before, the symptoms should begin immediately, but they may be very slight and they may deteriorate slowly and then rapidly at the very end, or they may deteriorate very rapidly from the onset, but the symptoms are not going to commence hours after the injury.
Medical examiner Steven Dunton testimony, page 462, lines 23-25; continued page 463, lines 1-3.

M.E.:  ...I sincerely doubt that the lethal injury was inflicted three or four days prior to her death.
— Medical examiner Steven Dunton testimony, page 439, lines 15-16.

D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  And, Doctor, what would we expect to see, behavior wise, out of a child that had that type of injury? In other words, what outside symptoms would there appear to be in a child's behavior who had that fatal injury?
M.E.:  If a child has received this kind of force to the brain, that's going to result in a subdural hematoma and eventual swelling of the brain. At the very beginning, right after the injury, there may be a short period of time and I mean very short, some minutes, I doubt as long as 15 or 30, where the child might seem perfectly fine. On the other hand, and probably the more frequent occurrence is that after such force is applied to the brain of a child immediately there's something wrong. If they're not completely unconscious then they may be groggy, unsteady on their feet, sleepy. Other symptoms might include nausea and vomiting, difficulty walking and as time goes by, if they survive for an interval of time, they may be unconscious completely at that point, completely comatose or even deceased. As I said, there is some variability in how fast this happens, but nonetheless, from the point of injury to the point of death, the symptoms are progressive, that is, they're not: everything's great for a while and everything's perfectly normal and then all of a sudden the symptoms kick in. They may be very mild initially and they may deteriorate slowly but there's going to be some gradual or more abrupt change.
D.A.:  Would you expect a child who has sustained these type of injuries to have been playing let's say two hours beforehand?
M.E.:  Before...
D.A.:  Death.
M.E.:  Before death and after injuries are received?
D.A.:  Yes.
M.E.:  Well, it might depend on what playing means. Once again, motor activity, coordination, degree of consciousness, those are all going to be variables so it might depend on what their activity is.
— Medical examiner Steven Dunton testimony, page 447, lines 16-25; continued page 448, lines 1-25; continued page 449, lines 1-5.

Herrin is questioned by the police about Amber's activities on April 14th during the approximately six hours she was alone with him while Boyer was at psychologist Jeannie Lagle's house. Where Herrin says "my little girl" he is referring to his own three-year-old daughter Ashley with his ex-wife, neither of whom visited that day. Boyer and her daughter lived at an apartment complex. She was only beginning to occasionally stay overnight at Herrin's trailer. Period photos of both the apartment complex and the exterior of Herrin's rented trailer and yard exist where the events occured. (1 quote):
Tape-recorded statement given by Herrin to police on the night of April 14, 1992, the day three-year-old Amber died.:
Det. Lieutenant Mike Thomas:  Okay, what about today?
Herrin:  This morning I had to go down to the unemployment office and do some running around. I got back around ten thirty or eleven o'clock and Amber was already up and watching cartoons and eating and Christina, she was still asleep and, well no, she was just getting up when I come in. I don't know if she heard me or what but as she got ready and she went to... (inaudible) one o'clock or little after one she went to Jenny's house to work on her computer and usually around one, one o'clock, one-thirty Amber usually takes a nap, you know, so I tried to put her in bed and take a nap and she just, you know, kept getting up so, you know, it was useless trying. I figured she wasn't tired and the way she'd been feeling lately I just figured not to push it. ...
Det. Thomas:  Anything else unusual about her? She complaining about anything?
Herrin:  Well, she, well she was, you know, she was having diarrhea, but no she really didn't complain and not a bit, I mean, she got up, ate a bowl of cereal, done good, watched cartoons and acted like, you know, normal. ... I couldn't get her back down for a nap. We got up and I went ahead and fed her lunch, she, Amber had a salad.
Det. Thomas:  You say "We got up." Did you lay down with her?
Herrin:  Oh, no sir, no sir, I mean, it's just a figure of speech, but she, I mean, she got up, I let her watch t.v. She ate a peanut butter sandwich, drunk milk and played with my little girl's toy box, got a bunch of toys, and I then took her outside to play. Outside, she's got a little three-wheeler she rides on and I was laying outside in the lounge chair and I was there for, seemed like an hour or so 'cause it was getting pretty hot, and then I took her back inside and then give her something to drink. She snacked, watched some cartoons, and around, let me think, I want to say either three-thirty or four o'clock, I noticed she was getting where she was staggering around, you know, eyes were, getting sleepy was what I figured.
INTERVIEW 4-14-92 AT 2300 HRS.
— Audiotape-recorded interview of David Herrin conducted by the Carrollton Police Department on the night of April 14, 1992.

Herrin testifies in court about Amber's activities on April 14, 1992 (1 quote):
Attorney Kenneth Krontz (attorney for David Herrin):  What did you and Amber do that day?
Herrin:  ... She played, watched cartoons. I just had got cable and had Nickelodeon and she was tickled to death to have 24 hours a day, seven days a week cartoons because she'd never had it before. She'd never really had a t.v. that would pick up more than one channel over at her place and in color so she was just as happy as could be, sat right in front of the t.v. and she'd ask for something and I'd get it for her. It's that simple. She wanted to go out and play out in the yard which is no problem. It's a nice day. I pulled a lounge chair out there. I said, "just stay out in the front yard." The trailer sat on a good size lot. There was nobody else around except for the horses and cows across the field and she played and played until it got to a certain point where I was starting to sweat. It was getting warmer and I took her inside.
Krontz:  Could you see anything wrong with her at that point?
Herrin:  Just that she was getting drowsy, you know, which she hadn't took a nap. I'd lay her down in the floor and I said, well, maybe it's a little too early and she was getting restless and, you know, because she didn't want to lay down. So I didn't push it, I never have with my daughter and I ain't gonna do it with your daughter or his daughter or anybody else's daughter. If they don't want to go to bed, as far as I'm concerned, they don't have to go to bed and so I just let it go until she started rubbing her eyes, drowsiness. I could tell by the way she was walking she was getting tired.
Krontz:  Did you see anything any different from when she got tired in the past?
Herrin:  No, she basically acted the same. My daughter gets the same way. When she gets tired she rubs her eyes and, you know, it's a sign, you know, it's time.
— Herrin testimony, page 660, lines 2, 7-25; continued page 661, lines 1-14.

From the Indictment:
Count number three charges you with the offense of murder.  It charges that Christina Boyer in Carroll County, Georgia, on the date of on and between April 10th, 1992 and April 14th, 1992 did then and there unlawfully cause the death of Amber Bennett, a human being while in the commission of a felony to wit:  cruelty to children by maliciously causing Amber Bennett a child under the age of eighteen cruel and excessive physical pain by failing to seek proper medical attention for Amber Bennett, contrary to laws of this State, the good order, peace and dignity thereof.
(Boyer was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the above Count in the indictment, despite having been physically apart from her daughter's location, including by phone, which Mr. Herrin did not own, for nearly six hours on April 14, 1992. Upon learning of her daughter's lifeless condition, she immediately took her to the nearest hospital's emergency room. Mr. Herrin, who was essentially acting as the child's babysitter that day, failed to seek medical treatment on his own for the dying child and instead waited until Ms. Boyer returned to his trailer to turn responsibility for the situation over to her. Mr. Herrin was convicted and sentenced to 20 years only for causing Amber Bennett "cruel and excessive physical pain by failing to seek medical treatment." He has not explained how the child could have been acting "normal" and "as happy as could be" playing indoors and outdoors all day and then fall gravely ill and die, contrary to the medical examiner's 0-to-30 minute timeline of how she should have responded to the head injury received, whether inflicted intentionally after drinking at least one beer or by way of a serious accident of which Mr. Herrin would not admit any involvement, since it might have affected visitation rights with his own three-year-old daughter.)

A discrepancy by Herrin and his ex-wife Kathy Carswell about Amber's meals on the day she died. (1 quote):
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis: Shortly after your arrest you talked to your wife, is that right, your ex-wife?
Herrin:  Yes, I talked to her quite frequently.
D.A.:  You told your wife you tried to get Amber to eat something and Amber refused. You heard her testify here today, correct?
Herrin:  Yes.
D.A.:  But you told the police Amber had cereal in the morning, a salad at lunch, a peanut butter sandwich, a drink, and all that occurred from the time you first told the police and all this was about a week or two later. Do you have any explanation for the difference in the child not eating at all to all of a sudden she had all those things to eat?
Herrin:  Like I said, I tried to get her to eat something.
D.A.:  You tried.
Herrin:  Like I said, I tried several different things.
— Herrin testimony, page 687, lines 9-24.

Herrin gets caught in a discrepancy about finding Amber unconscious. (1 quote):
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  You told the police that you checked on her every so often and you kept going back in and checking on her after she went to sleep. Is that right?
Herrin:  Yes, sir.
D.A.:  She was moving her feet and you were checking on her back and forth. Is that right?
Herrin:  Rolling over and --
D.A.:  Rolling over and -- but you told your wife you took a nap. You told your wife from 4:30 until about 6:00 you didn't check on her once and that's just a week after the child died. Which one is it?
Herrin:  Well, I know I checked on her.
— Herrin testimony, page 691, lines 19-25; continued page 692, lines 1-5.

Herrin's actions after finding Amber lifeless in his daughter's bed where he claimed he put her for a nap. The "Jenny" in the transcript is psychologist Jeannie Lagle, whose house Boyer was at for nearly the previous six hours. (2 quotes):
Herrin:  When I first walked in the room, I noticed something was wrong because before when Amber sleeps she's always tossing and turning, kicking the covers off. The covers were up on her. Her right arm was hanging off the bed and she was as pale as a ghost.
Krontz:  What did you do?
Herrin:  I basically freaked out. I panicked. I run over there, shook her, called her name out I don't know how many times, got mad at Christina for leaving me in this kind of situation.
Krontz:  Did you try to get help?
Herrin:  Yes, sir I ran ... I run up the street, bare footed, a pair of shorts and a tee shirt. I run up the street, I don't know how far it is, a quarter of a mile, maybe not that far, cut across a yard. ... I run straight up on her and told her, "I'm having a problem with my girlfriend's daughter. She won't wake up. I need to use your phone."
Krontz:  And why didn't you call 911?
Herrin:  For some reason it didn't even cross my mind.
— Herrin testimony, page 665, lines 8-23, continued page 666, lines 1-3, 5-9.

Krontz:  So you called Jenny?
Herrin:  She told me that Christina had been gone, she should be there any minute so I said I better get down there before she rides up and freaks out.
— Herrin testimony, page 666, lines 15-18.

Two versions of the same story regarding Boyer's return to Herrin's trailer and finding Amber lifeless. Boyer gave her version on the stand first, with Herrin sitting listening in the courtroom. After Boyer's total testimony on the first day of Herrin's trial, she was escorted back to prison and was not in the courtroom during anyone else's testimony on subsequent days. Herrin's car was a Chevy Impala. Boyer was about a 15 minute drive away at Ms. Lagle's house. The court reporter wrote Jeannie's name as Jenny here and elsewhere in the transcripts. Boyer first answered a question from District Attorney Skandalakis about what time she left the trailer that morning. (2 quotes):
Boyer's version
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  About what time did you leave?
Boyer:  About twenty till one.
D.A.:  And what were you doing at Jenny Lagle's house?
Boyer:  Working. She was paying me to write.
D.A.:  And what kind of book were you writing?
Boyer:  Supposedly a -- I don't know what you'd call it, I guess an autobiography.
D.A.:  What time did you get back home?
Boyer:  About 6:30.
D.A.:  And what, if anything, happened when you got back home?
Boyer:  When I arrived home, I pulled up in the driveway and David came out on the porch and headed down the stairs and I opened up the door and asked him "what" and he said that he couldn't get Amber up. He said, "I can't get Amber up" and at that point, I jumped out of the car and I went in the house and I went in the room, and Amber was lying there, and I put my head down on her chest to see if she was breathing, and she wasn't breathing, and I yanked the covers back and I picked my daughter up and we went out to the car.
D.A.:  What did you do then?
Boyer:  We were driving -- David drove me to the hospital.
— Tina Boyer testimony at Herrin trial, Jan 30, 1995, page 299, lines 21-25; continued page 300, lines 1-19.

Herrin's version
Krontz:  Did Christina pull up?
Herrin:  Yeah, I heard her coming up on the gravel driveway. I hollered out, run out of the room, run out of the trailer, run up to the car. She's sitting there lost in her own little world, eyes closed, radio wide open, singing up a storm. She was in her own world to the extent that she did not even notice me standing right next to the car.
Krontz:  What did you do?
Herrin:  I snatched the car door open and at that time she looked and smiled like, you know, "What's up" and that's when I told her she needed to get her ass out of the car, I cannot wake up Amber, we need to get her to the hospital.
Krontz:  What did she say?
Herrin:  Well, she had some kind of expression on her face, but she jumped out of the car. I don't remember exactly what she said, if she said anything until she got in the house, and then she snatched Amber up. I knew she was in no condition to drive, so I drove.
— Herrin testimony, page 667, lines 5-22.

A discrepancy in which Herrin offers the jury an incident of alleged child abuse by Boyer. (2 quotes):
Herrin: wasn't time to eat and one time she slammed the refrigerator door on Amber's hand when she was trying to pull some kind of fruit or something out of the refrigerator.
Krontz:  Did she do it by accident?
Herrin:  No, sir. It was no accident.
— Herrin testimony, page 641, lines 1-3.

Autopsy Report:  "X-rays of the entire skeletal system do not reveal any recent or old fractures or any other significant bony abnormality. ... This is the body of a well-developed, well-nourished white female child measuring 39 inches in crown-heel length and 19 inches in frontal-occipital circumference. The weight of the child is approximately 30 pounds."
— Autopsy Report of Amber Bennett, Medical examiner Steven F. Dunton, April 15, 1992, 8:00 a.m. begin.

Boyer is questioned by Herrin's attorney about her telekinetic past and the book she was writing with her psychologist friend Jeannie, who was one of the researchers who investigated her when she was 14. The book on Boyer was never finished. Historical Note: I believe this is the first trial in world history in which someone on a witness stand was asked to perform telekinesis in a courtroom in front of a jury:
Krontz:  What's there about your life that would justify, I mean before Amber died, and maybe there's something that justifies it now, but, what is there about your life at that time that justified an autobiography? I mean, what's special about you?
Boyer:  In my opinion, nothing. The book was -- when I was fourteen very many unexplainable events happened in my home concerning my home that year and it attracted a lot of media attention and I went to conferences and all types of things so we were writing about everything that had happened.
Krontz:  Are these the telekinetic powers I heard about?
Boyer:  If that's what you want to call them, yes.
Krontz:  Is that the ability to move things, move physical objects with only your mind?
Boyer:  That's what I'm told.
Krontz:  Is that what you did back when you were fourteen years old?
Boyer:  I don't know what happened when I was fourteen years old. All I know is that my whole life was chaotic and it was very traumatic and I can't explain anything that had happened. I don't know.
Krontz:  Things moved around in the room when you were sitting there. Is that right?
Boyer:  Yes, sir.
Krontz:  And somebody told you or you think that your brain caused those things to move.
Boyer:  I've had very many different opinions as to why those things happened.
Krontz:  Do those things still happen to you?
Boyer:  No, sir.
Krontz:  So you can't move things anymore?
Boyer:  No, things don't happen around me anymore.
Krontz:  Okay. So you can't move the little yellow marker that I've put up there?
Boyer:  No, sir.
Krontz:  Well, during this cross examination feel if the spirit moves you, Ms. Boyer.
— Tina Boyer's testimony at Herrin trial, Jan 30, 1995, page 320, lines 21-25; continued page 321, lines 1-25; continued page 322, lines 1-7.

Herrin comments on Boyer's telekinetic past and a lecture/question-and-answer appearance she was scheduled to make on Sunday, April 12th, in Atlanta, Georgia with Jeannie Lagle two days before Amber's death:
Krontz:  Let's talk about Sunday. What did y'all do on Sunday?
Herrin:  Sunday. We stayed around the house for a good part of the morning, slept late. I know I slept late, not real late. I got up and Christina had been talking about a presentation she was going to have to make.
Krontz:  What kind of presentation?
Herrin:  Something to do with telekinetic --
Krontz:  That business where she used to move things around, with her mind?
Herrin  Yes, sir. She brung it up several times to me and I've been to see magicians, David Copperfield, you know, people like that, illusions is what I call it and I wanted to see her move something but to my knowledge she has never moved nothing.
Krontz:  Is that what the counselor was all about?
Herrin:  To my impression, yes. There were several notes left in my car. She wanted me to read them but I never had a chance to read them that had something to do with her past and here in Georgia and some other people involved. I don't know because I never did read it. It's just what she has told me.
— Herrin testimony, page 647, lines 22-25; continued page 648, lines 1-18.

Boyer's indictment is shown to the jury by Herrin's attorney and Boyer explains why she pled guilty. (2 quotes):
The Court:  Cross examination, by Mr. Krontz:
Krontz:  So you thought your lawyer wouldn't fight for you, when you went to court?
Boyer:  Yes.
Krontz:  Your lawyer was Jimmy Berry, is that right?
Boyer:  Yes.
Krontz:  Do you know that he's one of the lawyers in Cobb County in the Fred Tokar's case?
Boyer:  Yes, I do.
Krontz:  Do you know that he is a renowned death penalty defense lawyer in Georgia?
Boyer:  Yes.
Krontz:  Your Honor, I have for identification purposes Defendant's Exhibit #1 which is a certified copy of the indictment against Ms. Boyer and her sentence. I would tender that into evidence at this time.
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  No objection, your Honor.
The Court:  Let it be admitted. (Whereupon Defendant's Exhibit #1 was offered and admitted into evidence.)
Krontz:  I would ask for the opportunity to exhibit this document to the Jury at this time, your honor, since it's been admitted.
D.A.:  No objection, your honor.
The Court:  Let it be presented to the jury for their observation.
Krontz:  Ms. Boyer, you pled guilty to aggravated battery, did you not?
Boyer:  Yes, but I didn't want to.
Krontz:  Well, I know you didn't want to.
Boyer:  Because I did not beat my child.
— Herrin testimony, page 318, lines 1-25; continued page 319, lines 1-8.

Krontz:  And because you entered a guilty plea to aggravated battery for which you received a sentence of twenty years and you pled guilty to felony murder for which you received a mandatory life sentence, right?
Boyer:  Yes, sir.
Krontz:  And because of that you did not face the death penalty, right?
Boyer:  Yes, that's why I did it.
Krontz:  You were afraid of the possibility that you could someday be put to death for killing your child?
Boyer:  Yes.
Krontz:  Part of the deal so that you didn't have to get strapped into the electric chair someday --
Boyer:  Yes, I didn't want to be strapped in for something I didn't do.
Krontz:  But you're willing to spend life plus twenty for something you didn't do?
Boyer:  I don't want to die for something I didn't do.
— Herrin testimony, page 319, lines 22-25; continued page 320, lines 1-14.

Herrin's last words at his trial. (1 quote):
D.A. Peter J. Skandalakis:  You and Christina were the only ones that had that child for that four day period, correct?
Herrin:  Correct.
D.A.:  Can you give the jury any explanation on how in a four day period this child went from looking like this (shows defendant pictures) to like that and nobody did a thing?
Herrin:  No, sir. All I can tell you is that I did not do it.
D.A.:  That's all.
The Court:  Any further questions, Mr. Krontz?
Krontz:  No, your Honor.
The Court:  You may go down. (Defendant withdraws from witness stand.) Call your next witness, please, Mr. Krontz.
Krontz:  Your Honor, the defense rests.
— Herrin testimony, page 710, lines 2-17.

Boyer's polygraph is mentioned by her attorney Jimmy Berry at her sentencing. (2 quotes):
Berry:  I would like to supplement the record with a copy of the polygraph report so that the Board of Pardons and Paroles will have that.
The Court:  We'll allow you to do that.
Berry:  And also a letter, Judge, outlining some of the fact finding information that I found in the case just for the Board of Pardons and Paroles because obviously now it's up to them to determine when she should be released. She is willing to testify about her knowledge and we would ask that that be made a part of the record as well. Anything and everything that we can do to help her as far as her earlier release we certainly would want to put on the record as far as that's concerned.
— Transcript of plea/sentencing proceeding, Oct 24, 1994, page 89, lines 7-19.

Berry:  My client has taken a polygraph test; W.A. Robinson who came down and administered the polygraph test under the rules and regulations that are promulgated by their group; in his opinion Ms. Boyer was truthful in her answers pertaining to the fact that she had inflicted any of the injuries at all. In looking through the case, in my opinion, as well, I felt that Ms. Boyer was not the one who inflicted the injuries, that David Herrin was.
— Transcript of Boyer's plea bargain/sentencing proceeding, Oct 24, 1994, page 92, lines 1-9.

Arraignment: The Charges Christina Boyer Was Facing
[David Herrin was indicted on the same changes.]

Charge:  Murder

Before THE HONORABLE WILLIAM F. LEE, JR., in Carrollton, Georgia.

Transcript of the proceedings


On behalf of the State:  PETER J. SKANDALAKIS, District Attorney
On behalf of the Defendant:  JIMMY D. BERRY, ESQ.

Edward Noriega

Hearing held on December 20, 1993 in Carrollton, Georgia:

THE COURT:  We're here in case number 92-CR-447, the case of the State of Georgia versus Christina Boyer.  She is present in Court along with her attorney, Mr. Berry. Present also is Mr. Peter Skandalakis, the District Attorney of the circuit.  The purpose of this hearing is for the arraignment of the defendant, Christina Boyer.  Ms. Boyer, your name is Christina Boyer?
MS. BOYER:  Yes, sir.
THE COURT:  You are represented by Mr. Jimmy Berry, a lawyer who practices in Marietta?
MS. BOYER:  Yes, sir.
THE COURT:  Ms. Boyer, the grand jury of this County has returned a true bill indictment against you in which it charges you with a number of offenses.

On count one of the indictment you are charged with the offense of murder, and that charge reads:  the grand jury of this County charges that you, Christina Boyer, did on the date of on or April 10th, 1992 and April 14th, 1992 in Carroll County, Georgia, did then and there unlawfully and with malice aforethought cause the death of Amber Bennett, a human being, by striking Amber Bennett on the head and abdomen, contrary to the laws of this State, the good order, peace and dignity thereof.

In count two of this indictment the grand jury charges you with the offense of murder and it says:  said Christina Boyer in the County of Carroll, State of Georgia, on the day of on and between April 10th, 1992 and April 14th, 1992, did then and there unlawfully cause the death of Amber Bennett a human being while in the commission of a felony to wit: cruelty to children by maliciously causing Amber Bennett, a child under the age of eighteen cruel and excessive physical pain by repeatedly striking Amber Bennett, contrary to law of this State, the good order, peace and dignity thereof.

Count number three charges you with the offense of murder.  It charges that Christina Boyer in Carroll County, Georgia, on the date of on and between April 10th, 1992 and April 14th, 1992 did then and there unlawfully cause the death of Amber Bennett, a human being while in the commission of a felony to wit:  cruelty to children by maliciously causing Amber Bennett a child under the age of eighteen cruel and excessive physical pain by failing to seek proper medical attention for Amber Bennett, contrary to laws of this State, the good order, peace and dignity thereof.

[Comment: The above Count Three is the charge that Ms. Boyer pled guilty to in her Alford plea agreement with District Attorney Skandalakis on October 24, 1994. She was given a sentence of life in prison.]

Count four charges you, Christina Boyer, with the offense of aggravated assault.  In that count you are charged:  in Carroll County, Georgia on the date of on and between April 10th, 1992 and April 14th, 1992 you did then and there unlawfully and maliciously cause bodily harm to Amber Bennett by seriously disfiguring a member of her body to wit:  her pancreas, contrary to laws of this State, the good order, peace and dignity thereof.

[Comment: Ms. Boyer also pled guilty to this charge, Count Four, that the medical examiner's testimony in the subsequent trial of David Herrin would prove to be false. She was sentenced to 20 years consecutive to her life sentence.]

Count five charges you with the offense of cruelty to children.  In count five you are charged that in Carroll County, Georgia, on the date of on and between April 10th, 1992 and April 14th, 1992 you did then and there unlawfully, maliciously cause Amber Bennett, a child under the age of eighteen cruel and excessive physical pain by failing to seek medical treatment for Amber Bennett, contrary to laws of this State, the good order, peace and dignity thereof.

[Comment: David Herrin was found guilty only on this charge, Count Five, and was sentenced to 20 years. The District Attorney removed the death penalty possibility for his case prior to trial; not so with Ms. Boyer, who made her decision to plea based on the possibility of being put to death by the State by electrocution.]

I have not read this verbatim, that is I have not read it word for word, I've paraphrased it somewhat.  Do you have any objections to that, Mr. Berry?
MR. BERRY:  No, You Honor.
THE COURT:  You have been charged with all of these offenses by the grand jury of this County.  How do you wish to plead to these charges, guilty or not guilty?
MR. BERRY:  Not guilty, Your Honor.
THE COURT:  All right.  Do you have a copy of the indictment, Mr. Berry?
MR. BERRY:  Yes, we do, Your Honor.
THE COURT:  And you have gone over these charges with your client?
MR.BERRY:  Yes, Your Honor, I'm in the process of making copies of all of the documents I have in the file for my client at this time.
THE COURT:  She does understand what she is charged with on each count of this indictment?
MR. BERRY:  Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT:  All right, sir, fine.  Is there anything else we can do at this time?
MR. SKANDALAKIS:  Your Honor, yes sir, the State has to notify and reaffirm its intention to seek the death penalty.  I've already served notice and that is in the file and Mr. Berry and Mrs. Boyer are aware of that.
THE COURT:  All right.  So the State will be seeking the death penalty in this case.
THE COURT:  All right.  I have spoken with Mr. Berry and Mr. Skandalakis and we will be setting a date later for hearings on the motions that have been filed and any other motions that you think you made need to file.  You're certainly not precluded from filing any other motions.  We will be setting a date and the proper people will be notified as to when that hearing will be held.
MR. BERRY:  Thank you, Your Honor.
THE COURT:  Is there anything else we need to take up?
MR. SKANDALAKIS:  No, sir, Your Honor.
MR. BERRY: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Thank you all so much.  This Court is adjourned for the day.

*           *           *           *           *

Question: Can a District Attorney in the United States exaggerate the medical evidence in a sworn indictment presented to a grand jury to such an extent that it can result in a person being charged and convicted, through a plea agreement, for a crime that, as described in the indictment, did not occur?

Answer: Under a fair and honest democratic system of government in which elected officials take an oath to protect the U.S. Constitution and their respective state constitution and obey the laws, that would not be considered a normal and acceptable action of any prosecutor (the District Attorney in Boyer's case was and still is an elected official). If it could be proven the exaggeration was unintentional, supported by steps taken to correct it, then that could be a defense. For a District Attorney, however, who represents the State in a case, to knowingly exceed the limit of truth in any document filed in a court case would be a violation of numerous laws, including violations of oath of office, state code of ethics, and state bar rules of professional conduct. Additionally, if the lead and assisting prosecutors later learned that a misstating of facts had occurred and did nothing to correct the resulting miscarriage of justice, that could also leave them subject to complaints filed against them for oath of office and ethics violations. In Boyer's case, there was an inconsistency of facts between what was filed and sworn to in the indictment and the evidence the medical examiner, who was the State's chief witness, provided in the autopsy report and later testified to in court. The news media at the time failed to notice and address the issue or they just did not want to pursue it. Boyer, an orphan shortly after birth, had no known natural relatives to speak out on her behalf or friends who could afford proper legal representation, so she was sent to prison to die.

  • Indictment. a formal written accusation, drawn up and submitted under oath to a grand jury by the public prosecuting attorney, charging one or more persons with a crime.
    Oath. a declaration of the truth of a statement.
      — Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Fourth Edition, 2008, Steven H. Gifis, former Associate Professor of Law, Rutgers University School of Law at Newark.

  • grand jury. a group of citizens summoned to hear evidence presented by a prosecutor and issue an indictment if they find sufficient evidence to warrant trying a particular person for a particular crime. ... The [U.S.] constitutional requirement by a grand jury [for a federal crime] has never been extended to state prosecutors; and since in practice grand juries seldom amount to more than a rubber stamp for prosecutors, they have been abolished, reduced in size, or given a reduced role in most states.
      — Webster's Legal Dictionary, 1996, James E. Clapp, Esq.

  • In a grand jury proceeding, the district attorney presents a document called an "indictment," or "bill of indictment," to the grand jury, a panel of residents (usually numbering twelve to twenty-four) selected from the local community. ... If, after considering all of the evidence presented to it, a majority of the grand jury finds there is probable cause to believe that you have committed a crime, the foreman will approve and sign the indictment as a "true bill." ... The grand jury system has been criticized for being a tool of the district attorney rather than an independent body that gives each side an equally fair chance. The district attorney runs the whole show, deciding whom to investigate and what evidence to present to the grand jury and what evidence to withhold.
      — Everybody's Guide to the Law, 2003, Melvin M. Belli, Sr. and Allen P. Wilkinson, pp 556-557.

  • The grand jury proceeding is secret, and only the prosecutor presents evidence. ... As the saying goes, a competent prosecutor can pursuade a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.
      — Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About the American legal System, Second Edition, 2006, Jay M. Feinman, Distinguished Law Professor, Rutgers University School of Law at Camden, pg 312.

  • How independent is the grand jury?

    The grand jury is independent in theory, and although the instructions given to the grand jurors inform them they are to use their judgment, the practical realities of the situation mitigate against it.

    The grand jury hears only cases brought to it by the prosecutor. The prosecutor decides which witnesses to call. The prosecutor decides which witnesses will receive immunity. The basic questioning is done by the prosecutor on a theory he or she articulates. The grand jury members are generally permitted to ask questions at the end of a witness's testimony. The prosecutor generally decides if he or she has enough evidence to seek an indictment. Occasionally the grand jurors may be asked whether they would like to hear any additional witnesses, but since their job is only to judge what the prosecutor has produced, they rarely ask to do so.

    The prosecutor drafts the charges and reads them to the grand jury. There is no requirement that the grand jury be read any instructions on the law, and such instructions are rarely given.
      — American Bar Association: "Frequently Asked Questions About the Grand Jury System."
Georgia Oath of Office and General Code of Ethics laws (partial listing):
State of Georgia Code 45-10-1:
"Establishment and text of code of ethics for government service generally
Any person in government service should:
II. Uphold the Constitution, laws, and legal regulations of the United States and the State of Georgia and of all governments therein and never be a party to their evasion."

State of Georgia Code 45-3-1:
"Oaths required in addition to oath of office and constitutional oath.
Every public officer shall:
(6) Swear that he or she will support the Constitution of the United States and of this state;"

State of Georgia Code 16-10-1:
"Violation of oath by public officer.
Any public officer who willfully and intentionally violates the terms of his oath as prescribed by law shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years."
State Bar of Georgia - "Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct":
    (a) A lawyer who is a public official and represents the State, a municipal corporation in the State, the United States government, their agencies or officials, is bound by the provisions of these Rules.
    (a) It shall be a violation of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct for a lawyer to:
    (1) violate or attempt to violate the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
    (4) engage in professional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;
  • Rule 4-101. Enforcement of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct
    The State Bar of Georgia is hereby authorized to maintain and enforce, as set forth in rules hereinafter stated, Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct to be observed by the members of the State Bar of Georgia and those authorized to practice law in the state of Georgia and to institute disciplinary action in the event of the violation thereof.

Suggested Google searches:
Georgia "violation of oath of office"
"district attorney was indicted"
"district attorney" "ethics complaint"

Georgia Attorney General Press Release, March 4, 2008: Piedmont District Attorney Sentenced to Six Years in Prison.

News Media Article Quotes

1993: Excerpt below from: Creative Loafing weekly magazine, Atlanta, Georgia, June 13, 1993, "Tina's World: Poltergeists and Prison" by Gregg Land. (The magazine also did an earlier July 14, 1990 story focusing on her parapsychology case.)

     For many of those who knew Tina — ... Lagle, Roll, [both have degrees in psychology, a masters and Ph.D., respectively] and others — the idea that she could ever allow her daughter to be harmed is inconceivable.
     "My wife and I often had Amber over, partly because we liked the child and partly to give Tina some relief from having to care for her all the time," says Roll. "I never saw her lose her temper around Amber and harm her in any way. She would occasionally discipline the girl by giving her a smack on the bottom, but there was never any indication of that kind of abuse Tina has been accused of by the police."
     "Yeah, I've maybe seen her spank her, but that's all," agrees Lagle. "She wouldn't let anybody harm that child. And she was so hyper, always running into things and falling down — so it sounded very possible to me that all these accidents did happen. ... And Tina drilled into her, "If anybody ever hurts you, you tell me." ...
Amber's last Christmas, 1991, visiting the Rolls, dancing happily in her new pajamas and ballerina tutu.
     In the meantime, Tina grows ever more restive as the days creep by and no apparent progress is made in her case. She takes daily medication for nervousness and depression, the psychokinetic outbreaks have not returned, and abuse from her fellow inmates has abated somewhat; still, she wonders how she can be held for alleged abuse that happened when she wasn't present.
     "I'm about ready to give up," she says, her head bowed as she speaks through the small grate below the glass. "I feel like this town's convicted me of something I haven't done — I don't think my lawyer believes me, all he's concerned with is seeing that my civil rights aren't violated, but he doesn't care. ... I just pray the truth'll come out."

2008: Excerpt below from: Carroll Star News weekly newspaper, Carrollton, Georgia, January 20, 2008, "The real story of Christina Resch Boyer: Did a 'perfect storm' of events lead to life imprisonment?" by Susan Horn, editor/publisher.
(This was a lengthy article that began on the front page; briefly excerpted here. If you would like to read the entire article on a web page click here or provide me your email address and I will send you five jpg scans of the article and accompanying editorial totaling 2.585 MB [2585 KB].)
On October 24, 1994, twenty-five year old Christina "Tina" Resch Boyer entered an Alford Plea in a Carroll County court to the felony murder and aggravated battery of her three year old daughter Amber Bennett. Because of her plea, there was no costly trial. She was subsequently sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years. As of now, she has served 15 and 1/2 years and is currently incarcerated at Pulaski State Prison in Hawkinsville, Georgia.
     This may be the end of this tragic story for prisoner #0000810071, save for the announcement at some future date by prison authorities that Tina Boyer has died. But in a time when seemingly every few months someone is featured in the news as having been exonerated of a crime due to new testing of DNA, recanting of stories by eyewitnesses, or revisiting of the case by authorities, perhaps the time, too, has come for Christina Resch Boyer. ...
     According to the state's official website ( the State Board of Pardons and Paroles is a part of the executive branch of Georgia's government, authorized to "grant paroles, pardons, reprieves, remissions, commutations, and to restore civil and political rights." ...
     A "perfect storm" of oppressive events seems to have occurred with Christina Resch Boyer at the epicenter. But when it's all sifted through, this is the story of a young woman who pleaded and accepted punishment for a murder that happened when she wasn't present.

---  Where Is Amber Gail Bennett Buried?  ---

Amber was buried in the Carrollton City Cemetery in Carrollton, Georgia on April 18, 1992 in a grave donated by the city and a casket, funeral, and other items donated by local businesses. Boyer's mother, Joan Resch, could not afford the cost of returning Amber to Ohio where she was born. Amber's headstone displays her name, date of birth, and date of death. She was born on September 29, 1988 and lived three years, six months, and 14 days. She was buried in the pink Easter dress that Boyer had purchased for her for Easter church service that coming Sunday. Here is a quote from the photographer who visited the gravesite: "Amber's grave is located, as you look at the cemetery from the main highway through Carrollton, to the left and about 60% of the way to the rear on a hillside. There is a florist shop nearly directly across the street." Date photographed: December 16, 2005. Credit photographer: John M. Riggle.  © James A. Conrad. Permission is freely granted for news media to use, cropping okay. Larger size for publishing available on request.

Amber's gravesite listed on Find a

Note to news media: (Carrollton government website)
The Carrollton City Cemetery is located on Alabama Street and is maintained by the Carrollton Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts Department. They have said that news media should obtain permission from the department director before shooting footage there. The city can provide a guide. Basically, they just want to be certain that no disrespectful use of the public cemetery takes place. People visiting the cemetery and taking photographs for personal use do not need permission. The cemetery is open to the public and there is no fence surrounding it.

---  Contacting Christina (Tina) Boyer in Prison  ---

If you would like to write to Tina Boyer, do not send her postage, writing materials, a return envelope, or anything held together with staples or paper clips. She has to purchase mail supplies in prison. Do not send pictures of maps, drugs, weapons, violence, etc. Larger items like magazines, books, gifts, etc., require a special form and advance permission. She enjoys receiving tourist picture postcards and greeting cards from anywhere in the world (do not choose any with small children or a family picture obviously). If you would like a reply and wish to send her a little money to pay for postage and writing materials, do not send cash. Follow the instructions on the website below and let her know you sent a donation to her prison account. Inmates are also allowed to buy snacks from the commissary using their accounts.

Christina Boyer's (GA Dept of Corrections) GDC ID: 810071
(Unfortunately, there is a service charge.)

It is not necessary to send money to write to her or get a reply back. In fact, in a December 2013 letter to me she asked me to make that clear. She welcomes letters. My experience is that she writes polite, intelligent letters. Mail from her is rubber stamped on the back (about the size of two postage stamps) saying it came from "Pulaski State Prison" along with a tiny text message block stating it came from a correctional institution inmate and that the letter was mailed unread by the prison staff. Keep this in mind if you do not want people (family, mail carrier, etc.) knowing that an inmate in a state prison wrote to you. Sometimes the rubber-stamped text is faint or illegible due to the volume of mail being processed. If you do not need a reply and she does not need to save your mailing, then let her know. In fact, she has very little storage space as an inmate and may not be able to save your letter in any case.

She can also receive and send email through the prison-authorized system, which costs each side 40 cents to send, with a minimum purchase of five "virtual stamps" for $2.00. Her state is Georgia and facility Inmate Number is 336633. These prices are subject to change (updated information appreciated). As with all inmates, access to email is a privilege and subject to change.

She is allowed to make 15-minute collect calls from prison through the prison-approved service Global Tele-Link ( However, she must first put you on her approved list. Phone access is a privilege and subject to change.

Note: She prefers the name "Christina" over "Tina," which was her childhood name.

Address envelope or postcard as follows and include a return address on the outside. DO NOT include a return envelope, postage, or cash:

Christina Boyer 810071  [810071 is her Georgia Dept of Corrections number]
Pulaski State Prison E2B  [E2B is the Dorm location]
PO Box 839
Hawkinsville GA 31036-0839

If writing to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, include in your letter (not on the envelope):

Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles Case #: 336633
Inmate #: EF-336633
GDC ID: 810071

Mailing Address (or click on Contact link on the web page below):

State Board of Pardons and Paroles
Suite 458, Balcony Level, East Tower
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-4909
United States (if from outside the country)


  • 1984 Parapsychology Case
  • Fortean Times magazine December 2004 article on the book Unleashed with excerpts:
    Tina Resch: Unleashed
  • Articles in The Atlanta Journal and/or The Atlantic Constitution newspapers, October 25, 1994, the day after her sentencing (the two papers merged in 2001 to become the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
    (newspaper archive search page results, with excerpts)
    "Telekinetic mom averts trial: Tina Boyer pleads guilty in daughter's death"
    "Telekinetic mom gets life in daughter's beating death"
    "From Celebrity to Cellblock: Tina Boyer's tragic ride ends"
    "Tina Boyer: Magic or tragic?: Ex-celebrity pleads guilty to child's murder"
  •    Publisher's web page for Unleashed:
       There are 15 photographs and two diagrams in the book.
       Click on the photo to go to's page (new window)
       where there are preview pages.
  • Map - Where is Carrollton in the State of Georgia, USA, where Tina Boyer and Amber lived and Ms. Boyer was arrested?: - Carrollton, Georgia
  • Map - Where is Hawkinsville, Georgia, where Tina Boyer is in prison?: - Hawkinsville, Georgia
  • Georgia Department of Corrections website:
  • To look up Christina Boyer's or David Herrin's prison photo and record:
  • Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles - official website -
  • Pulaski State Prison Profile:
  • Georgia Dept of Corrections 360-degree prison tour (prison location unknown):

  • Coincidences and Items of Note

    • In 1992, the year Boyer was arrested and held without bail in the county jail to await trial, the most powerful storm of the Pacific hurricane season was named Hurricane Tina. It caused no damage to life or land and lasted from September 17 to October 11, 1992, a record 24 days. It was also the 24th storm of the season. In 1994, on October 24, Tina Boyer pled guilty to avoid the death penalty by way of an Alford-type plea (a plea in which innocence is asserted), agreed to by District Attorney Pete Skandalakis representing the State of Georgia and was sentenced by Superior Court Judge William F. Lee, Jr on that day to life in prison plus 20 years.
    • In 2002, Governor Roy Barnes of Georgia (1999-2003) appointed District Attorney Pete Skandalakis as a special prosecutor to investigate corruption allegations involving the Georgia Parole Board and, later in a widening probe, the then Attorney General Thurbert Baker (term: 1997 - 2011). The investigations cleared the Attorney General completely but resulted in the resignation of the then Parole Board Chairman Walter Ray and resignation and successful prosecution of Parole Board member Bobby Whitworth. Both Board members Ray and Whitworth were against Boyer's 1999 parole bid.
    • In 2003, District Attorney Pete Skandalakis's cousin, Mitch Skandalakis, a former Fulton County Commission Chairman and once-candidate for Lieutenant Governor, was convicted of lying to the FBI during a corruption investigation of actions taken while he was a Commissioner. Mitch Skandalakis, also an attorney, was subsequently disbarred in 2005. Sources: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 17, 1994: "District attorney says family ties won't play role in annex hearing"
    • In 2004, Jack T. Bell, who in 1992 was the Sheriff who arrested Boyer and Herrin and was now at age 73 a retired Carroll County Commission Chairman, was out on May 21 doing volunteer grounds maintenance on a field for the County operating a large mowing tractor (similar machine) when he got off to check something and it unexpectedly kicked into gear and ran over him fatally. OBITUARY: Villa Rica Voice | AP article | PHOTO (1984 while Carrollton Chief of Police)
    • In 2008, attorney Kenneth W. Krontz, who, 13 years earlier in 1995 at defendant David Herrin's trial had jokingly asked Boyer on the witness stand to perform an act of telekinesis by making a yellow highlighter pen move, died of an undisclosed reason at age 56. Source: Douglas County Sentinel, April 30, 2008: "Ken Krontz – Obituary
    • If you are aware of any other unusual coincidences or items of note, please submit them.

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    Originally published on January 20, 2006 with subsequent updates to timely material.
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