Court rejects petition to reinstate bail for alleged Chelsea gunman

Published 11:44 am Friday, December 27, 2013

By CASSANDRA MICKENS / Associate Editor

CHELSEA — The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has rejected a petition from defense attorneys who want bail reinstated for the man accused of holding five girls at gunpoint at Chelsea Middle School in February.



The attorneys for Ryan Matthew Sims, 22, of Chelsea asked the court to “reinstate his original bail or set a reasonable bail in his case,” according to an order issued Dec. 20.

The order, written by Presiding Judge Mary Becker Windom with judges Liles C. Burke, J. Michael Joiner, J. Elizabeth Kellum and Samuel Henry Welch concurring, noted the petition did not meet time requirements and that Sims had violated his bond release conditions.

Sims, who was indicted in August on five counts of first-degree kidnapping and one count of making terrorist threats, was released from the Shelby County Jail in June after posting a $515,000 bond. 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. Defense attorneys Wendall Sheffield and John Lentine said in May 8 hearing that Sims had been diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia.

Prior to Sims’ indictment hearing, Shelby County sheriff’s deputies found a “box containing 49 rounds of live 22 cal. cartridges” in Sims’ bedroom, according to court documents. The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to revoke Sims’ bond shortly after the deputies’ discovery, and Shelby County District Judge Dan Reeves granted the motion.

Sims, who has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to the charges against him, is now being held in the Shelby County Jail.