Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bail reduced for dad accused of beating 4-month-old son (Attleboro, Massachusetts)

Even though dad RYAN ELLIS was alone and "watching" the baby when he got hurt, Mom has lost custody anyway.

Bail reduced for Attleboro father accused of beating infant son

Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 12:25 pm


ATTLEBORO — An Attleboro District Court judge today lowered the bail to $25,000 from $50,000 for a city father accused of abusing his 4-month-old son earlier this month.

Judge Daniel O'Shea lowered the bail for 22-year-old Ryan Ellis saying prosecutors were not ready for a probable cause hearing and that police had not filed additional charges against Ellis related to old injuries the infant suffered.

Ellis is accused of breaking the infant's right leg while watching his son March 2, but doctors told police they found prior rib and head injuries after he was brought to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

Ellis denies causing any injuries and told police the boy hurt his leg from an accidental fall while he was trying to burp him.

Ellis was arrested March 3 and has pleaded innocent to assault and battery on a child under 14 causing serious bodily injury.

Assistant District Attorney Derek Coyne told the judge that prosecutors are still reviewing the case to determine whether they will seek a grand jury indictment and try it in superior court or keep the case for trial in district court.

It is common practice in district court to continue the first scheduled probable cause hearing.

After Coyne said prosecutors were not ready for the probable causing hearing, Ellis' lawyer, Stella O'Leary argued for a reduction in bail.

O'Leary said her client has no prior criminal record and asked that the bail be reduced to $500 with GPS monitoring. She said Ellis has been held since his arrest and denies the charges.

The state Department of Children and Families has granted temporary custody to the child's maternal grandparents and he has been released from the hospital, O'Leary said.

"He has a baby boy he loves very much," O'Leary said.

Coyne opposed the reduction in bail, arguing "the facts in the case have not changed."

Ellis was sent back to jail and the case was continued to April 15 for a probable cause hearing.

A probable causing hearing is a preliminary court proceeding during which prosecutors have to present evidence to a judge to support the charges.

A judge determines whether there is enough evidence to send the case up to a grand jury for possible indictment. Prosecutors can bypass the preliminary hearing and go directly to the grand jury for an indictment.

If convicted in superior court, Ellis faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. The maximum a district court judge could sentence a person to jail is 2 1/2 years.