Alleged Chelsea Middle School gunman to appear in court July 7

By CASSANDRA MICKENS/Associate Editor

CHELSEA — The attorneys representing a Chelsea man facing charges for holding five girls at gunpoint at Chelsea Middle School in February 2013 are requesting clarification regarding a status call hearing set for July 7.

Sims

Sims

Ryan Matthew Sims is slated to appear before Shelby County Circuit Judge Dan Reeves July 7 at 8:30 a.m., according to court records. Sims’ attorneys, Ralph Wendell Sheffield and John Anthony Lentine, filed a motion for clarification of the court’s order May 23.

Sims, who has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic by professionals at the Chilton-Shelby Mental Health Center, is being held at the Shelby County Jail without bond. Lentine said in a telephone interview that Sims also was diagnosed to be suffering from acute psychosis when he entered a locker room at Chelsea Middle School armed with a pistol and held five girls at gunpoint Feb. 12, 2013.

Because Sims could not discern right from wrong at the time of the incident, Lentine said, he has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease and defect to five counts of first-degree kidnapping and one count of making terrorist threats.

“We don’t punish the mentally ill. We help them and rehabilitate them,” Lentine said.

Lentine said the court did not discuss the details of the July 7 status hearing with him or Sheffield, which prompted them to file a motion for clarification.

“We’ve not heard back from the judge as to the motion for clarification, but we’re hoping to hear something very soon,” Lentine said.

Sims has been held in the Shelby County Jail without bond since August 2013.