Should an accused child abuser get bail?

Posted at 10:26 PM, Dec 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-20 22:26:09-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Four-month-old Jordan Clark of Fredericksburg remains at a Chippenham Hospital Friday night, an alleged victim of child abuse. Fredericksburg Police arrested 23-year-old William Schmuhl in connection with the abuse this past week. Schmuhl was the boyfriend of Jordan’s mom. Police were alerted by officials at Spotsylvania Regional Hospital after Jordan’s family took him there to figure out why he couldn’t breathe.

Family members say Jordan had no physical signs of abuse when they took him to the hospital.

“I just fell apart… He’ll be four-months-old on Sunday,” Margo Fairchild, baby Jordan’s Aunt, said.

But if the episode of alleged abuse is making Fairchild upset, the situation involving Jordan’s biological father is leaving her confused.

Jordan’s father, Christopher Williams, was arrested days before Schmuel on charges of maliciously wounding Schmuel with a bb gun.

Fairchild says that her brother, Jordan’s father,  did it to protect his son.

What has Fairchild upset is that her brother is being held without bond while the alleged abuser has been granted bond at $10,000.

“I just think that something needs to be changed,” Fairchild said.

CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George asked legal analyst Todd Stone if Fairchild has a point.

Stone said that the Virginia legal system is clear – those accused of child abuse are often allowed bail why those charged with maliciously wounding another often are not.

“He is charged with a class 2 felony, malicious wounding and there is a presumption against bond,” Stone said.

As of Friday night both men, the accused assaulter and the accused abuser, were at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

As of this writing, Rappahannock deputies say Schmuhl has yet to post bond.

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