Child abuse suspect’s case headed to trial

Published 11:44 am Wednesday, March 22, 2017

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – Charges against a 58-year-old Alabaster man who is facing allegations he abused a child in 2015 are headed to a jury trial in the coming months, according to documents filed in Shelby County Circuit Court.


The Columbiana Police Department arrested Percy Lee Nelms, who previously listed an address in Columbiana’s Mountain View Apartments and currently lists an address off Mount Olive Road in Alabaster, on July 21, 2015, and charged him with one felony count of child abuse.

Nelms’ arrest came after he was indicted by a Shelby County grand jury in November 2015.

His indictment claimed he “did on or about July 16, 2015, torture, willfully abuse, cruelly beat or otherwise willfully maltreat” a male child by “hitting him about the face and body with fists and/or slapping him about his head and body and/or hitting him about his body with a belt.”

Child abuse is a Class C felony, and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison upon conviction. Nelms was released from the Shelby County Jail the same day he was arrested after posting a $20,000 bond, according to jail records.

On March 13, Circuit Court Judge Lara Alvis placed Nelms’ case on the court’s general call docket “to await an available trial cycle.” As of March 22, Nelms did not have a trial date listed in court documents.

Nelms was the second suspect arrested in connection with allegedly abusing the child, as 25-year-old Montevallo resident Mary Haley Bonner was arrested in Nov. 18, 2015, and charged with child abuse as well.

According to Bonner’s indictment, the allegations against her are tied to the same July 2015 incident Nelms is charged with.

She has entered pleas of not guilty to the charge, and is set to appear in court for a status call at 8:30 a.m. on June 19.