Zinah Jennings (left) appears in court on Jan. 30, 2012.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP, WLTX) -- An attorney for the mother of a South Carolina toddler missing since Thanksgiving says police are violating his client's constitutional rights by opposing her release on bond.
Hemphill Pride II said in court Monday that police oppose Zinah Jennings' release from jail because the 22-year-old mother hasn't told them where her young son is. Pride says his client has a right to remain silent.
"It is very important that the child be found," said Pride. "By the same token, my client is charged with a criminal offense. When someone is charged with a criminal offense they have the right to not cooperate and to not talk. I think perhaps because the child is missing, that's the real reason the state wants to detain the mother."
Pride told a judge that his pregnant client's $150,000 bond should be lowered so she can be released and get prenatal care. The judge said he will rule later.
"She is entitled by law to a reasonable bond based on the charges against her," said Pride.
Last week, officers scoured a rural area but found no evidence of Amir Jennings. The boy has been missing since Thanksgiving, and his mother has been arrested for lying about his whereabouts.