The hearing for Brandy Ann Boyd, held in response to a filed motion for bond, went before Judge Carey Nelson Tuesday morning. Boyd is charged with felony murder in the death of 1-year-old Journey Ann Cowart.
District Attorney Rosemary Greene, representing the state, argued against the court setting a bond for Boyd and requested Nelson allow Journey Cowart’s grandmother, Barbara Cowart, and step-grandfather, Allen Hunt, to make a statement to the court, which was granted.
Greene said the criminal investigation is ongoing and she expects the complete Georgia Bureau of Investigation forensic medical report concerning Journey Cowart’s death. That report will determine prosecution decisions concerning Boyd and her co-defendant, Austin Levi Payne, who has not yet filed a motion for bond.
Nelson denied bond for Boyd.
Legislation named for Journey Cowart this week moved forward in the Legislature.
The Journey Ann Cowart Act was introduced by Rep. Christian Coomer (R-Cartersville) of District 14 on Feb. 5 and is intended to help prevent future child abuse deaths. On Monday, Crossover Day in the Georgia General Assembly, the bill — House Bill 923 — moved into the state Senate after being adopted by the House on Feb. 26.
The bill will put the Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel under the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, rather than Georgia Office of the Child Advocate. The intention, Coomer said, was to give the state review panel the necessary resources to investigate child deaths related to abuse so that the panel may prevent future deaths.
A final child dependency hearing for Boyd’s 5-year-old son will continue Friday in Bartow County Juvenile Court. Three hearings have been held in the matter, which will determine whether the child remains in custody of the Division of Family and Children Services.