Judge bans livestreaming for Leilani Simon’s future hearings

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 6:18 PM EST
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A status hearing in the case of Leilani Simon, the mother accused of killing her toddler son and putting him in a dumpster, took place in Chatham County court on Monday.

Before the status hearing itself even started, Judge Tammy Stokes made rulings on a few things including media access to the case moving forward and whether evidence from Leilani’s mother Billie Howell will make it into court.

In a break from past hearings, District Attorney Shalena Cook Jones was in the room as part of the State’s legal team.

Assistant District Attorney Tim Dean told Judge Tammy Stokes that the State objects to any recordings or livestreaming of future proceedings. He said that is to protect the privacy of Quinton Simon’s two living siblings.

The defense also asked that any future recordings of the case be handled on a hearing-by-hearing basis. They said their main concern with court being recorded was Leilani Simon’s right to a fair trial.

Judge Stokes ruled that livestreaming of the case will be completely banned. As for recording hearings to be played back later, she said she’ll make a ruling on that later.

Billie Howell was also present in court after being subpoenaed by the State to produce documents.

She turned over eight journals of Leilani’s to the court. There were journals that Leilani had written in while at a treatment center following her son’s death.

Judge Stokes will hold onto the journals and make a ruling on whether they can be used in court later.

Judge Stokes also said that the court has obtained DFCS records pertaining to Billie Howell, Quinton Simon, Leilani Simon, her other two living children and their fathers.

She says that she’ll look over the records and decide whether they’ll be allowed to be used in court.

Simon’s arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, March 23.