A Mecklenburg County prosecutor gave a long and emotional argument Thursday for why a Charlotte man should not be allowed out of jail while he's charged with murder and felony child abuse of a two-year-old boy — but Christopher Sims, 26, had his bond lowered anyway.
Superior Court Judge Robert Bell said Sims will not be allowed contact with anyone under the age of 18 if he's released on $300,000 bond, a reduction from $3.5 million.
Sims' lawyer, Susan Weigand, told Bell that if Sims stays with his mother when he's out of jail, he'd be around siblings under the age of 18. Bell made no exception, saying either Sims or his young siblings would need to find somewhere else to stay.
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Prosecutor Glenn Cole started his argument by handing Bell an 8-by-11 inch photo of A'dan Blackmon, who was 2 years old when he died in a Charlotte hospital on June 8, 2017. Sims was dating Blackmon's mother, who was busy with job interviews the day her son was fatally injured, Cole said.
Blackmon's autopsy found that he was killed by abuse or physical assault and had blunt force trauma to his head. He had extensive bruising on his face and body, the medical examiner found.
Cole added more details to a case that he said "shocks the conscience."
"There is a bite mark of an adult-size mouth on A'dan's arm," he said. His frenulum — the ridge of tissue attaching the gums to the flesh of the lips and chin — was torn.
Sims was responsible for Blackmon from about 10:30 a.m. until they arrived at the hospital together just before 5 p.m. on June 7, with Blackmon in cardiac arrest, investigators found.
Cole said Sims told police and Blackmon's mother a variety of stories about what happened that day and the stories didn't check out. He said he went to the YMCA but no YMCA had a record of him checking in, Cole said, among other inconsistencies.
For part of the day, Sims was taking care of Blackmon along with his biological son, who's about the same age. Sims handed his biological son off to the boy's mother at about 2 p.m. in the parking lot of CMPD headquarters, Cole said.
"He had to do that because (the biological son's) mother was afraid of the defendant," Cole said, adding that the boy's mother has said her son was injured while with Sims.
Cole called Sims' $3.5 million bond "appropriate." Bonds are set to make sure someone comes back to court, he said, but also to ensure community safety.
"The state does not feel that any child is safe in this defendant's presence," he said.
Sims' lawyer asked for a $50,000 bond, but Bell settled on $300,000, along with electronic monitoring and no contact with children.