Brantley Mugshot

Bobby Lee Brantley.

GREENUP A Greenup County judge denied a bond modification for the Ashland man accused of violently shaking now-3-year-old Calliope May last year.

During a status hearing in Greenup County Circuit Court, defense attorney Sebastian Joy asked Judge Robert Conley to lower 32-year-old Bobby Lee Brantley’s $50,000 cash bond. Joy cited Brantley’s “minimal criminal history” and the multiple police interviews Brantley voluntarily submitted himself to while investigators attempted to sort what happened April 27, 2019, inside a Foot Hills Apartment unit that left the toddler in critical condition.

Joy also noted that May’s father, Ricky May — who was briefly detained last year for yelling, “Look at what you did to her” to Brantley in the court room — has “doubts about the veracity of these allegations.” 

“I ask the court to take into account that added support, as well as the consideration that he is a low flight risk and not a danger to society,” Joy said.

Starting in January, Ricky May has been making comments on social media proclaiming Brantley’s innocence.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Maridelle Malone said Brantley’s bond had already been reduced once by $25,000. She then argued that the bond in the case “needs to be commensurate with the charge.” Malone said the nature of the allegations — shaking a baby to the point of brain damage — makes Brantley a danger to society.

“This man can’t control his rage to the point he hurt a poor, defenseless baby,” Malone said. “She suffered catastrophic injuries. Anyone who can do that is inherently a danger to society.” 

Malone added that several alternative theories to how Calliope May so severely injured have been floated, but debunked by the attending physician. Joy said Calliope had two known injuries prior to being dropped off into Brantley’s care.

“I think when it comes to trial, it will be shown his actions actually saved that child’s life,” Joy said.

Before ruling, Conley said he needed to consider the strength of the prosecution’s case. Looking at the court file, Conley noted police got a confession from Brantley. Joy said that’s not what happened in the interview.

“I watched the interview about six days ago,” Joy said. “He said he put the child on the bed. How the officer got he shook the baby out of that is beyond me.”

Malone said Brantley gave contradictory statements during four interviews with police.

Conley rendered his ruling, with a caveat.

“The bond is going to remain the same, unless I hear there’s a weakness in the commonwealth’s case,” Conley said. “In that case, by all means we’ll take it back up.” 

Brantley’s trial is set for Aug. 10 in Greenup County Circuit Court. He faces a sole count of first-degree assault, a charge carrying between 10 and 20 years in prison.

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