A man whose wife shot him after she learned of allegations that he had sexually abused children at her day care in Baltimore County can be released on home detention while he awaits trial, a judge ruled on Tuesday.
Baltimore County Circuit Judge Nancy M. Purpura decided that James Weems Jr. can reside at the home of his longtime friend in Towson who served with him in the U.S. Marine Corps. He can only leave the house to go to medical appointments and visit with his attorney.
“You can’t leave that home for any other reason,” said Purpura, who warned Weems that he would be incarcerated until his trial if he violated any of the terms or conditions of home detention.
Weems, 58, is charged with sexual abuse of a minor, rape, perverted practice and related offenses. He’s accused of sexually abusing children at Lil Kidz Kastle Daycare Center in Owings Mills.
On July 21, 2022, Weems’ wife, Shanteari, drove from Baltimore County to Washington, D.C., and shot him twice in his hotel room at what used to be called the Mandarin Oriental. He had been working security at a conference.
Baltimore County Police filed charges against Weems days after the shooting.
She later pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court to aggravated assault and carrying a pistol without a license and was sentenced to four years in prison, plus two years’ supervised release. That’s in addition to filing for divorce.
Deputy State’s Attorney Lisa Dever argued that Weems posed a danger to the community and asked the judge to order him to continue to be held without bail.
“The facts in this case are egregious,” Dever said. “He certainly took advantage of the place where he was working.”
Four children, she said, have come forward and reported that Weems sexually abused them.
But Thomas Pavlinic, Weems’ attorney, contended that prosecutors have always described the facts of the case in the light most favorable to the state, “none of which are completely accurate.”
Besides serving in the military, Pavlinic noted that his client worked for the Baltimore Police Department and medically retired. Weems, he said, also was employed in the security industry.
Pavlinic said his client is not a flight risk, noting that he does not own a car and was shot two times. Weems, he said, has ties to the community and “no blemishes on his record.”
If Weems was not released, he would spent almost two years incarcerated before his trial, Pavlinic said.
“He doesn’t represent a danger to anybody,” Pavlinic said. “He’s got a legitimate person with whom he can reside.”
Weems is scheduled to stand trial on May 6, 2024.