Coronavirus: Judge denies woman’s request to get out of jail

Tawnney Michelle Caldwell SHELBY COUNTY JAIL

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Tawnney Michelle Caldwell SHELBY COUNTY JAIL

A federal judge denied a request from a woman charged in a fatal shooting who wanted out of jail because of the coronavirus.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose denied the request from Tawnney Caldwell. She is charged in the death of Robert Caldwell, who was killed in front of three children in a Riverside parking lot in 2017.

Tawnney Caldwell isn’t accused of pulling the trigger, but she is accused of aiding and abetting Sterling Roberts, the alleged gunman, according to a court document. She is in custody in the Shelby County Jail.

Four other people have been charged in connection to Robert Caldwell’s death, including Chance Deakin, Sterling Roberts’ brother. Chance Deakin was sentenced to 26 months in prison for his role.

A next court date in Tawnney Caldwell’s case has not been set.

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Previously, Tawnney Caldwell’s defense team filed a motion asking the judge to allow their client out of jail because of COVID-19.

“The United States is in the early stages of a pandemic. COVID-19 is proving to be an extraordinarily contagious disease. These are not normal times. We are engaged in equally extraordinary and crucial efforts to contain it. Our success or failure literally may impact the lives of many in the community,” the motion says.

The defense motion says Tawnney Caldwell suffers from supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) which causes from time-to-time a rapid heartbeat.

“Generally, the heart continues to work normally, pumping blood through the body,” the motion says. “However, the effect of COVID-19 is not currently known, for obvious reasons, as the virus is new.”

U.S. Prosecutors filed a response to the motion, asking the judge to keep her in jail saying that she is a flight risk and her release would present a danger to the community.

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The order issued by Rose was restricted from the public, the clerk’s office said, so the judge’s reasoning behind the decision wasn’t immediately available.

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