Mother who became fugitive to protect son returns to court - WSMV Channel 4

Mother who became fugitive to protect son returns to court

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A Middle Tennessee mother who became a fugitive from the law in an attempt to protect her child was back in court Monday.

Georgia Dunn had defied an order from Robertson County Circuit Judge Ross Hicks to return her son to her ex-husband, William Cone. She said she wanted to wait and see if Cone would ever be charged with crimes against her child.

Then, last week, Cone was arrested and charged with rape of a child, and Dunn surrendered herself to police.

It all started back in 2008 when Dunn was told by her son's pediatrician the boy was being sexually assaulted. Then, an 11-person state investigative team looked into it and decided Cone, the boys' father, was sexually abusing his son.

But when Dunn went to court in front of Hicks, she not only didn't win her case, but she also lost primary custody of her son.

"Eleven people unanimously agreed," Dunn said. "A judge overruled their decision on that."

Then came new allegations this summer by the boy that led to an FBI investigation and federal search warrants. The FBI even accompanied Dunn to Robertson County earlier this month to again appear in front of Hicks to ask for an order of protection.

"They brought copies of warrants for search and seizure," Dunn said. "He said he wasn't granting it and that I would need to return my son to his father that day. I said, 'Are you telling me that I have to return my child to the man my son has told the FBI is raping him - not in those terms, but in child terms?' And he said, 'I won't discuss it to you in any way.'"

That's when Dunn walked out of the courtroom and became a fugitive from the law.

Dunn was charged with parental tampering, a Class C felony, but there remained some huge outstanding questions. The biggest of which are who now takes custody of the child and would Dunn have to go back in front of a judge who has already made two huge rulings against her?

Those questions were both answered Monday.

While it is against the law to discuss the specifics of what happened and how the judge ruled Monday, after the hearing Dunn said she had a good feeling about what transpired.

"I'm thrilled. I can't say how thrilled I am," Dunn said. "I have a good feeling about it, yes."

And before Dunn could even ask Hicks to recuse himself, he beat her to it, notifying everyone he was recusing himself because of "outside conduct on the part of Ms. Dunn Cone and the media which, at minimum, would call into question the court's ability to be fair and impartial."

Now, a Robertson County judge with no prior history in the case will decide if Dunn is a criminal or not.

"I was extremely concerned about tomorrow's hearing in Robertson County before Judge Hicks, and am very relieved I won't ever being going before him again," Dunn said.

The woman who was desperate is now feeling hopeful and noting what a difference a week can make.

There is no question Dunn defied a court order and refused to give her son back, thereby committing the Class C felony, by the book.

But the new judge will consider her case now that authorities agree with her accusations that her ex-husband committed rape.

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