Teacher’s Child Abuse Case Delayed After Arsonist Blows Up Home Of Witness

September 19, 2009

The trial of an Atmore teacher and her husband has been postponed after the home of a key prosecution witness blew up in what officials say was a case of arson.

linamfront.jpgIn April, an Escambia County (Ala.) grand jury indicted Tracy Linam, 37, and Terry Desmond Linam, 44, both of Chapman Road, Atmore. Both were arrested on three counts of aggravated child abuse and three counts of domestic violence. The child abuse charges are felonies; the domestic violence charges are misdemeanors.

The couple was accused of “torturing, willfully abusing, cruelly beating or otherwise willfully maltreating a child under the age of 18″, according to court records, including “shoving, cursing, belittling, threatening, pulling or snatching hair”. The children, who were Terry Linam’s from a previous marriage, were given medication to make them sleep, court records say. The abuse was not sexual in nature, according to court documents.

The Linams were scheduled to be tried this past week. But that trail was delayed after the Jack Springs Road home of Ken Brewton, brother of Terry Linam’s ex-wife Marcie Linam,  “burned in what amounted to an explosion” at 3 a.m. last Saturday, according to documents from the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.

The Brewton family was reportedly out of town on vacation at the time of the explosion and fire that leveled their home north of Atmore.

The judge that was scheduled to hear the child abuse case recused himself after the Attorney General’s office claimed that Judge Bert Rice was biased against the state because of comments he made in child custody case between Terry Linam and Marcie Linam.  The attorney general’s office claimed that Rice had said that there was not adequate evidence in the case and that he would dismiss the charges. His comments reportedly came to a Department of Human Resources Employee.

The case was reassigned to Judge Bradley Byrne and was scheduled to begin last week. Now, officials say the case will be on hold while the investigation into the arson continues.

Tracy Linam is a kindergarten teacher at Rachel Patterson Elementary School in Atmore, where she has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of her trial.


25 Responses to “Teacher’s Child Abuse Case Delayed After Arsonist Blows Up Home Of Witness”

  1. ConcernedCitizen on September 22nd, 2009 10:45 pm

    Very well stated someone who cares!

  2. someone who cares on September 22nd, 2009 10:24 pm

    If no evidence of abuse was found in the custody case, then it makes sense to me not to waste taxpayers’ money to hear the same” lack of evidence” re-presented in a criminal case. Why would a judge want to listen to the same thing after it had been determined that it was unfounded? Being accused of something does not determine guilt. Evidence determines guilt and there was apparantly no evidence. It is sad that the Linams are having to prove their innocence when we are suppose to be innocent until proven guilty.As far as the media printing something that is not true, it happens. That is why you see the little “corrections” sections. Only those sections aren’t headlines or front page stories. It sure makes me wonder who is pushing the media to try to make a connection between these two cases. Satan is attacking families because if he can tear them apart it sows seeds of discord. Therefore, I say to the Linams: “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6: 10,11

  3. ConcernedCitizen on September 22nd, 2009 9:48 pm

    Bringing Hope,
    You are so right. The Linam family is a christian family who has always been upstanding citizens of Escambia County. Most people who read about this story do not know them. All they have to judge them by is what is being printed in the papers, being told on the news channels etc. These are the words of the accuser. The accusations that have been made against them are horrible. As we both know, these days people find you guilty before the truth can be told. I do hope and pray the public will know very soon that none of this is true. What goes around…..comes around. You reap what you sow.

  4. Bringing Hope on September 22nd, 2009 1:57 pm

    Ya know, I have been upset about all the horrible things being said about the Linam Family. They are good people. We need to remember this is not a battle among humans but a spiritual battle. I hope this brings encouragement to all those who support the Linam family. I know that it encourages me. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. ” I Peter 4:12, 13

  5. ConcernedCitizen on September 22nd, 2009 10:18 am

    WoW…no comments from Common Sense after the last reply. I wonder if they walked over to pet DogLovers pups :)

  6. Do as I say, not as I do. on September 22nd, 2009 9:22 am

    A. Davis,
    You basically asked why can’t people just do what is right?

    Well look at society. We have sheriffs stealing money, we have preachers, ministers and priests molesting children, we have teachers having sex with students, we have police officers beating up citizens and selling drugs, we have politicians cheating on their spouses and taxes, parents cussing, drinking and smoking, the list goes on and on of people we are supposed to honor and respect who themselves are the major violators of the law. How would you expect the rest of society to act? We are a product of OUR environment.

  7. What a surprise, here we are again on September 22nd, 2009 12:28 am

    Common sense: how do YOU know what is in the court’s trancripts? Lawfully, YOU shouldn’t. Where on here has anyone called the children liars? Freudian slip perhaps? You are clearly siding with the “prosecution”, but I, along with many others was/were there and there was NO support on the “prosecution’s” side. NOBODY! unless…..hmmmm….. Tidbit for you: yes the judge can do that….. “Firsthand knowledge” you say….hmmmm… Isn’t that what this site is for…posting opinions?? Doglover: you spend all of that time tracking this story using ALL of those sources, posting nonsense on here and still have time for “dog”loving? WOW! Hats off to you..By, the way, it’s have, not has. (plural)
    Well spoken worried worker and A. Davis.. Excellent points!

  8. A. Davis on September 21st, 2009 9:53 pm

    Look how people treat this case what makes them diffrent from other people who have been charged on abuse. Could this be why when somthing bad does happen to a child whoever hurts them gets a slap on the hand. Why do some people have such a hard time with what is right and whats not.

  9. Common Sense on September 21st, 2009 5:02 pm

    What about the kids? The people on this website have called them liars without hearing the evidence. Judge Bert Rice even said that he would dismiss the case before he heard the evidence and he cannot do that. That is in court transcripts and only the attorney general had the authority to do that!
    Worried Worker,
    You are right. These things should be held privately but then Rice would have gotten away the good ole boy routine as usual! Something needs to be done!!

  10. Worried Worker on September 21st, 2009 11:52 am

    I work in the foster care/protective services field and I can assure you that a large percentage (60 to 65%) of our cases are considered to be unfounded. That means that in approximately 2 out of every 3 cases we investigate, it was based on false or exaggerated information.

    Do you honestly think it matters to someone who is falsely accused that it is later deemed to be unfounded? It’s really a moot point when their reputations have been ruined in their communities.

    I have been fighting for quite some time to change the way these are investigated. I want it all to be private unless and until there is evidence to support someone’s guilt. As it stands now, we investigate as if they are guilty and that attitude is conveyed to those we interview (friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, etc). That is not fair to the accused. It violates their civil rights as they are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

    For example, this couple is being portrayed as abusive parents when they haven’t been proven guilty of anything yet. How do you think this will affect their lives? What if they really are NOT guilty of this? Then what?

  11. ConcernedCitizen on September 21st, 2009 10:37 am

    Mug shot pictures are usually everything but glamerous. Mrs. Linam had been outside with the children in her class, playing all day long because it was their free day. Mr. Linam had to sit for a few hours before he was allowed to get called in for his mug shot. Just stop and think….would u look like a Barbie doll if in this situation???

  12. Common Sense on September 20th, 2009 9:24 pm

    Everyone please remember that children are involved here. They are told in school to come forward if something is happening to them. Just because in some cases no evidence of abuse was found does not mean that in every case. They are not just going on the mom’s say so but law enforcement and the attorney general’s office. If everyone really wants to know the truth they need to go watch the court proceedings. They are an eye opener and you may change your opinion. If you don’t then don’t post about what you don’t know anything about.

  13. Concerned on September 20th, 2009 8:26 pm

    We should remember appearances aren’t everything. Do any of us think our mugshots would make us look our best?

  14. Another mom on September 20th, 2009 4:02 pm

    I am NOT taking up for these two because I don’t know them. If I were to judge by their appearances, I would believe they were guilty, but I’m not like that.

    There are many times that people see or hear only a tiny bit of a conversation and make assumptions based on that. The things that they are accused of unconscionable in the context of normal everyday life, but we don’t know what context any of this was in. For example, I have pushed or shoved my children before when they were in harm’s way. If there’s a car coming at them and they can’t move fast enough, I will definitely give them a shove and dare anyone to say anything about it.

    I threaten my kids all the time: If you do “whatever the situation is”, I will punish you. If you don’t mind and act appropriately, you will deal with the consequences. Is that wrong? Tell me any parent who doesn’t threaten their child with punishment for their misdeeds.

    I pulled my kids’ hair when they pulled mine to show them that it hurt and to stop doing it. I never pulled it hard, but they got the idea.

    I guess I could be accused of belittling them by saying “How would you like it if someone said such and such about you? Wouldn’t that hurt your feelings if someone focused on YOUR faults and made a big deal out of them?”

    I am very much against child abuse and will gladly admit that there are many who go way overboard with it and treat their children horribly, but without knowing exactly what happened and hearing ALL of the testimony, there’s no way I can make a decision regarding their guilt or innocence.

    There have been many many many times that DCF has been called on people just because someone is angry with them, including their own children, when it was completely unjustified. It doesn’t come off their “record” when they are proven innocent either. It’s kept on file for “future reference”. I don’t think that’s fair. If you prove that I am innocent, how can that same thing be used against me by invoking the “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” mentality?

    I think everyone should think about how their own actions could be interpreted when someone doesn’t know the entire story and reserve judgement until they do.

  15. Common Sense on September 19th, 2009 10:07 pm

    Even NorthEscambia couldn’t get their facts straight. Shame Shame !! Hope you read the sacrasm there !! Concerned Citizen, that is the best thing you have said. Sit back and watch it unfold which is what everyone should have been doing in the first place. When you don’t have first hand knowledge keep your opinions to yourself.

  16. ConcernedCitizen on September 19th, 2009 10:06 pm

    You’re exactly right north escambia reader. I know that Judge Byrnes and Judge Rice will get to the TRUTH and do what’s best for the CHILDREN. May God be with the Linam’s during this difficult time. Everyone who KNOWS you, understands exactly what’s going on. Everyone is standing behind you!! We ALL know you are such loving and caring people and show the same love and kindness to these CHILDREN.

  17. ConcernedCitizen on September 19th, 2009 9:16 pm

    We will sit back and watch it unfold. WE will see who is GUILTY!!!!

  18. north escambia reader on September 19th, 2009 8:45 pm

    Brad Byrnes will be able to tell who is telling the truth. I used him as a lawyer 24 years ago when he practice in Atmore. I have been in his court room over the last several months. He will do what is right for the children and the parents.

  19. Doglover on September 19th, 2009 5:53 pm

    Concerned Citizen,
    Do you really think The Atmore Advance, Atmore News, Mobile Press, and News Channel 15 would all print something that was not true? Man, has the Linams got you fooled!!

  20. ConcernedCitizen on September 19th, 2009 11:13 am

    The local papers need to get their facts straight about things before they publish them. The REAL ARSONIST will be arrested soon!!!!! JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL IN ESCAMBIA COUNTY!!!!!!

  21. N on September 19th, 2009 9:46 am

    Thank God no one was home.

  22. N on September 19th, 2009 9:42 am

    “Mom”, it was Saturday morning and what is wrong with going out of town over a weekend?????

  23. concerned on September 19th, 2009 9:16 am

    they didn’t live in Brewton, their last name is Brewton. But school has started in Atmore too.

  24. mom on September 19th, 2009 8:20 am

    What were the people doing out of town. Had school not already started back in Brewton.

  25. Randy D on September 19th, 2009 8:16 am

    dez, Just want you to know the truth and we also know what you are going though. If there is anything you need you just call me or Terrie and we will do whatever we can do to help. I have talked to alot of people everyday and the are in your favor so try not to worry about it.