Father of missing toddler denied bond reduction
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida man arrested in connection to the disappearance of his baby boy appeared in court in hopes of having his bond reduced.
Calvin Melvin Jr. appeared before a judge on Wednesday to request to have his bond lowered in order to get out of jail. Melvin's mother, Annie Melvin, also testified on his behalf, arguing that he had nothing to do with the death of his son. She said he would not ever hurt anyone, especially his own child.
"He has no prior criminal history," said Melvin's attorney, Ed Hoeg. "He's an artist. He stays in his room, and he draws. He's a peaceful, calm guy."
Dontrell Melvin went missing back in July or August of 2011. Police arrested both Melvin Jr. and the baby's mother, Brittney Sierra, after someone called police to report the child missing.
A prosecutor spoke at the hearing in defense of the high bond. "First he said, the baby, he dropped it off at the fire station," said the prosecutor, "he told the girlfriend he dropped it off with the mother. Finally, after hours of interrogation, probably after six, seven hours of interrogations, he finally admitted the baby was in the backyard. They dug up the backyard and found skeletal remains."
The remains were found in back of a Hallandale Beach home Melvin Jr. and Sierra had once shared. Sierra was charged with child neglect, Melvin Jr. with lying to investigators.
Melvin Jr. wanted his bond reduced to $3,000 since he has not been charged with murder, and the remains found have not been officially identified. "I'm not saying anything happened to this kid, I don't know," said Hoeg. "Obviously, we expect the remains to come back to be Dontrell, but that doesn't prove a murder. This guy, if you read the statute, we had two motions dismissed. One is based on the fact that he's the one who gave the information to police. He's the one. If he did make any contradictory statements, he came clean. He told the truth. We don't know how the baby died."
In the end, the judge denied Melvin Jr.'s request for bond reduction. He will remain in the Broward County jail on $151,000 bond.
Further investigation, according to Hoeg, reveals that when detectives dug up the remains, which are believed to be that of Dontrell, the body and the bones did not sustain any apparent trauma. The remains are located in a lab in North Texas. It could be two to three weeks before they are positively identified.
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