Bond Hearing for Man Seeking New Trial on Murder Charges Re-scheduled

A hearing to decide if a man convicted of murder in Stephens County in 2012 will get bond while courts determine whether he gets a new trial will now take place later this month.

The hearing regarding the case of Steve A. Sims. Jr., of Toccoa was scheduled for Thursday, but was delayed.

Sims, Jr. was convicted of felony murder and other charges and sentenced to life in prison with the opportunity of parole in September 2012 in connection to the March 2012 death of Shawn Hancock of Toccoa during an altercation the two men had at Sims, Jr.’s South Sage Street home.

However, Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Chan Caudell granted a motion for a new trial for Sims in May.

Attorneys for Sims in the appeal argued that Sims received ineffective trial counsel because his attorneys did not object to the prosecution’s improper comments on Sims’ pre-arrest silence and failure to come forward and Caudell agreed in his order.

The Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office has appealed Caudell’s order granting a new trial to the Georgia Supreme Court, arguing that the comments were not improper and that it was a matter of trial strategy for the trial counsel about whether to object to the comments when they were made.

Sims’ attorneys are asking for a bond to be set while the prosecution’s appeal of the order granting a new trial is considered by the state’s Supreme Court.