A bond hearing for a Chattanooga man accused of murder and racketeering has been reset by Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz. The state is seeking the death penalty against Charles Shelton, who is being held under a $2,770,000 bond.
Shelton, 28, is charged in the 2016 kidnapping and murder of Bianca Horton, who had been set to testify in the murder trial of Cortez Sims. Two other men are also charged.
Shelton’s attorney argued for a reduced bail on the grounds of a lack of cumulative evidence against his client. He argued that the evidence found in both the cell phone dump and inside the van was purely circumstantial, and did not prove that the defendant and Horton interacted in any way.
Shelton’s attorney asked for the bond hearing to then be rescheduled as a key witness for the defense was not able to make it to court. Shelton’s mother, who was unable to attend due to her work schedule, was set to be a witness in the bond hearing.
The prosecution did not object, and Judge Greenholtz granted his request for a new date. The new hearing will take place on Aug. 6.
As he left the courtroom, Shelton was visibly displeased by the fact that his bond had not been reduced. He expressed his displeasure by swearing and yelling as he exited.
According to prosecution, the three men abducted Horton, forced her into a van, shot her several times, and then dumped her body on a Chattanooga road.
The three men were part of a 55-person RICO indictment involving the Athens Park Bloods street gang.
According to the indictment, there is phone records of the three men discussing plans to prevent Horton from testifying against Sims. A jury wound up convicting Sims.
Horton had testified against Sims in 2015 in Juvenile Court.