Child abuse suspect set to stand trial

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 61-year-old Alabaster man is set to stand trial in Shelby County Circuit Court on a felony child abuse charge, according to scheduling documents filed in court.

Nelms

A child abuse charge against Percy Lee Nelms has been placed on the court’s general call docket “to await an available trial cycle,” according to a scheduling document filed in court in late April.

The Columbiana Police Department arrested Nelms 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.

While Nelms was out on bond for the child abuse charge, he was arrested by the Alabaster Police Department on a drunken driving charge on Feb. 1, 2018, prompting the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office to request Nelms’ bond be revoked because “one of the mandatory conditions of release on bond is that defendant refrain from committing any new criminal offenses.”

In mid-November 2018, Nelms was released from the Shelby County Jail on a pre-trial release bond program, which stipulated he hold a full-time job or attend school full-time while awaiting his trial. The release agreement also requires he submit to and pass random drug tests and report to a pre-trial officer twice per month.