Former police officer shot by wife over allegations of child molestation has been charged
Washington, D.C.: On Thursday, July 21, around 7:40 pm officers responded to the Mandarin Oriental, a $400/ night luxury hotel located in the Southwest portion of D.C. after gunfire was reported.
At the hotel, officers encountered an active barricade situation with 50-year-old Shanteari Weems. Less than an hour later, she surrendered to police and was taken into custody. Her husband was conscious and breathing when he was transported for medical care for a broken femur.
Two guns were reportedly confiscated.
When asked why she had shot her husband of five years, Shanteari, the owner of Lil Kidz Kastle Daycare Center in Owings Mills, Maryland, reportedly told officers, he's "a child molester."
Shanteari reportedly hoped to bring justice to the children by paralyzing her husband.
She has been charged with assault with intent to kill and firearms charges and her attorney alleges that she had shot her husband in self defense after he turned violent while being confronted over reports of a second child being molested at the daycare.
"She has been doing this for 20 years," attorney Tony Garcia told DailyMail. "She built this business from scratch. Her whole life's work is that mothers trust her and allow her to care for their kids while they go to work. To have this happen... and it is not even an employee. It's her husband."
Shanteari was scheduled to appear in court on Monday but that hearing was rescheduled to Friday, July 29.
57-year-old James S. Weems Jr. is a former Baltimore Police Officer that left the force in 2008 and helped at the daycare by working as a bus driver while also working in security.
The Baltimore Banner reports that James was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps from 1983 to 1987 and had joined the Baltimore Police Department in 1996. Lindsey Eldridge, a spokeswoman for the police department told the Banner that James was medically retired in 2005 but continued to work through 2008 as a contractor.
On Tuesday, the Baltimore County Police Department announced that an arrest warrant had been issued for James. At that time, he remained hospitalized in police custody pending extradition.
James faces 13 counts related to abuse of three victims including 2 counts of third-degree sex offense, three counts of second-degree assault and one count of displaying obscene material to a minor.
In their statement, the police department disclosed that they had begun investigating James earlier in the month after a victim came forward alleging that there had been sexual abuse. At that time, the daycare was closed.
The investigation is ongoing and officers are asking that anyone with information contact the Baltimore County detectives at (410) 3074-2020.
Many have rallied around Shanteari in support with family attempting to establish a GoFundMe in order to assist with legal fees. Not surprisingly, it appears as though the platform has suspended the campaign.
A search on social media for #ShanteariWeems reveals how much support there is for her actions with many calling for her to be released and even commending her actions.
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