by: Mark Becker Updated:
CHARLOTTE - A district court judge said he would not change the bonds for a couple charged with abusing a 3-year-old boy at a west Charlotte motel.
Shamika Reaves, 23, broke down in tears during her first court appearance Wednesday afternoon as the judge told her she is charged with felony child abuse.
Her boyfriend, Corey McCree, 32, did not show any emotion during his appearance via video link from the Mecklenburg County Jail. He is also charged with sexually assaulting the boy.
A search warrant gives new details about alleged abuse --including the sexual assault which doctors found when they examined the boy, who remains in critical condition, with what the warrant calls head trauma.
But the boy’s grandmother, who has seen him at the hospital, said that doesn’t begin to describe the extent of his injuries.
“The way they beat him, they crushed the bones,” Felisha Brown told Eyewitness News before the court appearances Wednesday.
Brown said doctors told her that her grandson could die from his injuries, and she showed a picture of the little boy lying in a hospital bed with his head bandaged and tubes running to his tiny body.
Her description of his injuries from the sexual assault is too graphic to publish.
“All I can see is death,” she said.
Brown and her family attended the court hearings along with a woman who said she had raised the little boy for a year and a half, while his mother was away.
“They won't even let me see him. I'm all he knows. I haven’t seen him since his mama took him out of my house,” said Gwendolyn Lee.
Lee said she had reported to police in March that the little boy may have been sexually assaulted, but social workers did not keep the boy away from his mother or her boyfriend.
There is also plenty of outrage and heartbreak at the motel off Freedom Drive where the abuse allegedly happened.
Stacey Starnes has a room two doors down from where McCree and Reaves were living with the little boy.
“That's crazy. How can someone do that to a 3-year-old?” Starnes asked.