The lawyer for a Florida woman accused of murdering her 3-year-old son decades ago says authorities have no evidence to prove the charges, KSNV-TV reports.
Amy Fleming was arrested earlier this month in Florida in connection with the presumed death of her son, Francillon Pierre, who vanished in North Las Vegas in 1986.
Pierre has never been found.
At a court hearing on February 21, Fleming’s attorney, Nicholas Wooldridge, reportedly argued the state has failed to tie Fleming to the alleged crime.
“To quote the detective, we don’t have a smoking gun, we don’t have much, we don’t,” Wooldridge said in court, according to KSNV-TV. “Because it doesn’t exist and it never will. We got the wrong person.”
Fleming reportedly told police in 1986 that her son went missing while she was at a swap meet. At the time, she and her then-fiancé, Lee Luster, were being prosecuted for abusing Pierre. The two were convicted and went to jail, but the child’s missing case went cold.
Years later, in 2017, an attempted identity theft renewed interest in the case and prompted police to reopen the investigation. According to USA Today, someone tried to obtain a U.S. birth certificate using the missing boy’s name.
“During the next year and a half our detectives worked diligently going over the entire case file,” North Las Vegas Police Chief Pam Ojeda said, according to KSNV-TV.
“They even went to the extent of piecing together multiple jail letters between Fleming and Luster that had been torn into dozens of small pieces.”
A warrant was issued for Fleming in January and she was arrested in February in Florida. She has since been extradited back to Nevada.
Detectives reportedly they have not located a body and do not know how the child may have died.
“There’s no evidence that she abducted her child or killed her child,” said Wooldridge, the defense lawyer, according to the KSNV-TV report. “We had a case back then where the state said we don’t have the evidence to charge her, and they still don’t have any evidence to charge her.”
Wooldridge said he intends to seek dismissal of the charges entirely.
Fleming was emotionless during the Feb. 21 proceeding, in which the judge set a $1 million bond. She is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 28.