The 25-year-old Canton man accused of hurling a piece of concrete that fatally injured an off-duty Baltimore police detective was ordered held without bond Monday at a brief hearing at Central Booking.
Sian James, dressed in a bright yellow jumpsuit with his hands shackled in front of him, did not speak at the hearing. A public defender asked Associate District Judge Charles A. Chiapparelli to set bail, noting that James was steadily employed at an area Jiffy Lube.
Without asking for the facts of the case, Chiapparelli denied the attorney's request.
James is accused of throwing a "fist-sized" piece of concrete that struck Detective Brian Stevenson on the left side of his head, causing "massive" injuries. Police say the rock was thrown after an argument over a parking space in a private lot in the 2800 block of Hudson St. on Saturday night, the eve of Stevenson's 38th birthday.
The 18-year police veteran, who had gone out to eat dinner with a friend, died about an hour before his birthday. Acting on information from witnesses, police tracked down James at a club in the Power Plant Live complex.
James, who was born in Jamaica, has no prior convictions, though he was out on bond after being indicted in July on charges that he attempted to rape his ex-girlfriend after storming into her apartment. The woman had alleged months of abuse and filed for two protective orders.
His attorney in the rape case, John Denholm, appeared at Monday's bail review but was representing another client and declined to comment.
Though James was initially ordered held without bond on the rape charges and spent nearly two months in jail, Denholm successfully lobbied Circuit Judge M. Brooke Murdock to set a bail. Murdock set bail at $150,000, against the wishes of city prosecutors who argued that bail should have been denied.
Under the state's bail system, defendants are not required to pay the full 10 percent up front but can pay that money over time in installments. The agreement is not made with the court but with a private insurer, who collects the payments. There have been many attempts at reform.
Records show that a woman named Alisa Esposito agreed to pay $15,000 to Lee Dixon, an agent for Milton Tillman, in the sex assault case. Tillman, one of the city's most successful bail bondsmen, is under federal indictment on charges of filing false tax returns and illegally running an insurance business.
The sexual assault charges against James were the culmination of months of alleged abuse, according to charging documents.
The Baltimore Sun does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault. On Sunday, a man who answered the phone at the woman's number said she could not discuss her relationship with James because of the pending case.
Court records show that in March, the woman sought a protective order against James, saying that he had placed her in fear. She wrote in an application for the protective order that he asked her to go for a ride with him on his motorcycle and insisted that she not wear her riding jacket.
He "began to drive recklessly, taking sharp corners and weaving in and out of traffic," she wrote in court papers. When she asked him to slow down, he raced up to speeds reaching 150 mph, she said. During a hearing for that protective order, she asked the judge to dismiss it.
Then in July, she filed for another protective order, writing in the application that James came to her apartment to talk and pushed his way in. She said he snatched her phone and kicked her in the chest, refusing to leave.
She said she went into the bathroom and locked the door, emerging after she thought he'd left. But he was still in the house, and grabbed her as she tried to run back into the bathroom, she said. She said he threw her on the bed and tried to force intercourse.
At one point, she said, he threw her phone, which hit the wall and created a hole.
She said that he sexually assaulted her, and she bit him, scratched his face and elbowed him in an attempt to get away, court records show.
He later apologized and began to cry and "said that he really needs to get help," according to charging documents. He followed her into the bedroom and lay down with her with his arm around her, refusing multiple times to let her get up. He eventually left for work in the morning and sent her text messages apologizing for what happened.
In those court papers, the woman alleged that there had been additional assaults in December, February, April and May. A protective order was granted, requiring James to stay away from her for a year.
On James' Facebook page, portions of which were taken down Monday, James had discussed being released from jail in July, with friends encouraging him and offering to take him out. He often posted updates praising God, and listed sports and scuba diving among his interests.
"People always get the wrong impression of me. Then it turns arround [sic] that [I] am a realy [sic] nice guy," he wrote on the "bio" section of his page.