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UPDATED: Murder case bounded from Magistrate
James Rivera Sims

UPDATE (April 20, 3:38 p.m.)James Rivera Sims appeared before a Magistrate Court judge on Wednesday for charges of cruelty to children and murder of almost two-year old Cayden Allen.

The judge bounded the case, moving it along to the Superior Court.

Conyers Police member Chris Moon appeared at the court for questioning by lawyers from the state and the defendant.

In the interview following his arrest, Sims said Allen fell down on backward on his way to the restroom after having an accident while watching television.

Moon said that there were injuries that disputed the claim of falling backward.

"The officer observed swelling to Cayden's forehead between his right eye and hairline, which would make it inconsistent to it said he fell backward," Moon said. "He was taken to Egleston where there was bruising on his torso and shoulders and hemorrhages to the brain that were all inconsistent with walking and falling down."

Moon also went on to describe the scene saying, "it was carpet there were there were no toys or sharp objects."


(April 13, 11:51 p.m.) Relatives of Cayden Allen, the 2-year-old boy killed in an alleged incident of child abuse, said the court system failed the toddler by letting him stay with his mother without investigating charges of assault in the household.

Cayden’s maternal aunt, Nikia Mynear, said Cayden had been living with his mother in Conyers for only two weeks before his death.

Before that, Cayden had lived with his maternal grandparents and Mynear in Danville, KY, near Lexington.

Mynear described Cayden as a happy child who amazed visitors with the amount of sign language he knew. “He was a very happy little boy,” she said.

The grandparents, who are deaf, had repeatedly filed for custody of the child in court. Cayden’s mother, who is 20 years old, was living in Georgia at the time with her boyfriend James Sims, 23. She had met him about a year and a half ago while he was working on a construction job in Danville.

Mynear said her sister and Sims had been fighting to the point of physical violence. “We didn't want Cayden around that,” she said. Cayden was scared of Sims because of the fights, she said.

Mynear told her sister, “He has beat you up several times. What made you think he wouldn't touch your child?’ She didn’t think he wouldn't do anything like that to Cayden.”

Cayden’s mother and Sims had both been charged with simple assault under the Family Violence Act in December 2010, according to CPD Lt. Jack Dunn.

However, Cayden’s mother was able to have the case dismissed.

Mynear said, “When we went to court, they said we didn't have enough evidence. They let (Cayden’s mother) have full custody.” Mynear and the grandparents also asked the courts to investigate the charges and household before allowing Cayden to go to Georgia, but that was not done.

The child was going through potty training at the time.

When police interviewed Sims after he called 911, he told investigators that he had spanked Cayden too hard with a bare hand that week and had left marks. “He had informed the mother of this and self imposed he wouldn't discipline the child anymore,” said Dunn.

That day, Cayden had reportedly had an accident in his “big boy pants” and Sims said he was walking with the toddler to the bathroom when the child collapsed.

“His explanation was inconsistent with what we and the medical staff at Egleston saw,” said Dunn.

When she got the call on Friday about Cayden, Mynear said, “I just knew. I knew something was wrong. I knew the judge should have done an investigation before.”

Mynear, who is four months away from having her own child, said she still loves her sister, who is back in Kentucky, but is angry with her. “It makes me mad she just took him from us.”

Cayen’s organs were donated and his body will reportedly be buried in Kentucky. The funeral date is to be determined.



(April 13, 6: 29 p.m.) A 23-year-old Conyers man was charged with murder after a 2-year-old child died from injuries from apparent blows to the head.

James Rivera Sims called police on Friday evening, reporting that the child, Cayden Allen, was unconscious and struggling to breathe, according to a Conyers police statement. Sims was reportedly watching Allen while the child's mother, Sims' girlfriend, was at work.

Sims told police the child went unconscious when they walked to the bathroom. The child was taken to Rockdale Medical Center and then to Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta, where he was treated for a brain hemorrhage. Medical personnel also reported bruising along the child's body.

Sims was put under arrest and charged with a felony cruelty to children.

Allen died Monday and Sims was charged with murder.

An autopsy reportedly found bruising on the right side of the head that indicated the child was struck several times. The 2-year-old's testes were also reportedly swollen and bruised.

Investigators say they don't anticipate charges against the mother.