No bond set for alleged Chelsea gunman

Published 2:28 pm Tuesday, August 20, 2013


CHELSEA – After being arrested Aug. 14, Ryan Matthew Sims is being held in the Shelby County Jail without bond pending a decision by Judge Dan Reeves regarding alleged bond violations. Sims was released on bond in June after allegedly holding five Chelsea Middle School students hostage in February.

Sims was arrested after Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies found live .22-caliber rounds in his bedroom, though in an Aug. 20 hearing Sims’ attorneys argued that having ammunition was not a violation of the agreement. The agreement prohibits firearms but doesn’t mention ammunition.

At the Aug. 20 hearing, Shelby County District Attorney Roger Hepburn said in closing that he couldn’t stop thinking about a statement made by one of the witnesses.

“Guns and ammunition go hand-in-hand,” Hepburn said.

He also made reference to a wireless Internet router found in the home, which is also a violation of the agreement, he said.

Sims’ attorneys argued that ammunition has been in the home since the very first search was conducted in February, referencing documents that show all firearms but no ammunition were removed from the residence. All ammunition has since been removed from the residence, they said.

“Mistakes have been made on both sides,” Sims’ attorney said. “We’re concerned too. That’s why we removed (the ammunition).”

The defense pushed for a modification rather than revocation of the bond, but Reeves said he would revisit the issue at a later date. He also noted arguments wouldn’t be made if the original bond agreement had specifically banned ammunition.

“I cannot draft an order that will address (all issues),” Reeves said. “I will give the state and defense an opportunity to review the language (of the agreement).”

Reeves also said it “strains common sense for Mr. Sims to have ammunition in his room.”

Until a new bond agreement is crafted with “language that is sufficient” for both parties, Reeves said Sims would be held without bond.

Only at that point would Reeves decide to revoke, modify or reset the bond agreement, he said.