INDIANAPOLIS — Amber Robertson, 23, shuffled into a courtroom at the Community Justice Center clad in a yellow jumpsuit, her face partially covered by a mask as a result of COVID restrictions, and wiped tears from her eyes.
Robertson attended an initial hearing to face four counts of child neglect in connection with the disappearance of her eight-month-old daughter Amiah in the spring of 2019.
The young mother told the court she currently cares for three children, is pregnant, dropped out of tenth grade and has no assets or job and cannot afford an attorney.
The court provided Robertson with a public defender, entered a not guilty plea, set a November trial date ordered that a ten percent down payment would secure her release, on GPS monitoring, on a $200,000 bond.
Robertson and her ex-boyfriend Robert Lyons were indicted by a Marion County Grand Jury last Friday.
Lyons turned himself in to authorities earlier today and is being held at the Adult Detention Center. He faces virtually the same child neglect charges, the most serious of which carries a 16-year prison sentence upon conviction.
Inside the courtroom, Chuck Robertson wore a t-shirt that read, “Where is Amiah?”
Outside the courtroom, I asked Robertson why he believes his daughter has not fully explained to investigators what had become of his granddaughter.
”Because she’s frightened. Because the relationship she had with Robert Lyons was a very abusive relationship. She came and told me before it was happening that she was very frightened of Robert Lyons,” said Robertson, who did not know his daughter was pregnant until it was announced in court. ”He used to beat on her. He used to smack the kids.
”I believe those threats are still active. I believe he is still making those threats towards her.”
Investigators have said if more evidence is discovered regarding Baby Amiah’s whereabouts or fate, additional charges could be filed.