Alleged Chelsea Middle gunman released on bond

By KATIE MCDOWELL/MANAGING EDITOR

A Shelby County man accused of holding five Chelsea Middle students hostage in February has been released on bond.

Ryan Matthew Sims was released on June 6 after he posted bond totaling $515,000, according to Shelby County jail records.

Sims was charged with five counts of kidnapping and one charge of terrorist threats after allegedly holding five girls at gunpoint at Chelsea Middle School. His bond was originally set at $1 million per kidnapping charge, but was later reduced to $100,000 per charge. Bond for the terrorist threat charge was $15,000.

During a May 8 hearing to have his bond reduced, Sims’ attorneys, Wendall Sheffield and John Letine, said he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

During the hearing, his attorneys outlined the conditions that would be met for Sims to be released:

  • Electronic monitoring,
  • 24/7 house arrest with exceptions to visit his attorneys, attend court hearings and receive treatment for paranoid schizophrenia,
  • Supervision by a third-party custodian, his grandfather.

Sims’ attorneys also said all firearms and weapons had already been removed from his family’s home.