CHARLOTTE--A Charlotte couple accused of abusing a 3-year-old boy made their first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.
Corey McCree and Shamika Reaves appeared before the judge, by video arraignment and received a court-appointed attorney.
The pair is charged with felony child abuse. McCree is also charged with first-degree sex offense and indecent liberties with a child.
McCree and Reaves were arrested Tuesday after MEDIC responded to a motel room in west Charlotte. A search warrant said police collected evidence of sexual and physical abuse.
The warrant said the boy suffered from non-accidental injuries, head trauma, retinal tearing and his body showed evidence of old injuries as well. Both suspects say the child put incense in his mouth. Then a short time later said he wasn't well, but they never confessed to beating him.
The toddler’s father, grandmother, and other family members were also in court Wednesday and asked the judge to raise the bonds of the suspects. They said the prognosis isn't good for the victim and if he survives he will have a very challenging life ahead.
The victim’s grandmother, Felisha Brown, asked the judge to make sure the two suspects remain in jail. She said her grandson had the left side of his head beat in so severely, he had to have surgery.
Brown said there were cigarette burns all over his body, and details of sexual abuse too graphic to share.
“I wanted no bond and death sentence. Because anybody in their right frame of mind thinks that this is OK, then you need an evaluation yourself,” said Brown.
A criminal check showed McCree was investigated in 2007 for sexual assault of his own 3-year-old. In 2010 he was investigated for sexual assault of two 14-year-olds.
The 2010 statutory rape case was dismissed.
Both Reaves and McCree have a bond hearing on June 2.
The couple will face harsher punishment because the alleged abuse happened after Dec. 1, 2013, when the Kilah Davenport bill became law.