justice court
(Photo by Tim Evanson/Creative Commons)

A Sierra Vista arrested in early June for allegedly pointing a gun at an underaged family member on multiple occasions as well as sexually abusing another family member will remain in the Cochise County jail on a no-bail order for the time being, a judge ordered last week.

Joshua Derek Sume was formally arraigned last week on 10 felonies ranging from child molestation, aggravated assault, sexual abuse, kidnapping, and child abuse. His speedy trial deadline is the end of December.

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Sume’s court-appointed attorney will have an opportunity to challenge the court order keeping his client in custody until trial. A hearing on the release conditions could be held later this month.

Court records show Sume, 39, came under investigation June 2 when a Sierra Vista police officer responded to a local residence for a report of child abuse. Two detectives -Jessica Ferrel and Joshua Nicola- were called in after it was determined two teenaged females in the household may have been abused.

Both girls claimed to have been punched and kicked by Sume on various occasions in the past two years. In addition, the younger teen described an incident during this year’s Easter holiday when Sume came home after a night of drinking and sexually abused the younger girl.

The girls, who were interviewed separately, also gave similar statements about incidents in which Sume got angry and allegedly pointed a gun at the older teen while threatening to shoot “her lady parts.”

Sume was interviewed the same day and reportedly admitted to investigators that he kicked the older girl one time and pointing what he said was an unloaded handgun at her twice. He also admitted telling the girls the gun was loaded with hollow point bullets designed to “tear a person” who gets shot, Nicola noted in his probable cause statement to the court.

“He admitted to me he could see how (the older girl) would be terrified when he pointed the gun at her after describing what the bullets in it were designed to do,” Nicola added.

The probable cause statement also notes Sume later told the girls he sold the gun because he was “afraid of shooting them.” However, Sume claimed the real reason for selling the gun is he had considered pulling it during an argument outside a bar.

“He sold it so he would not be inclined to [do] that again,” Nicola wrote.

Sume also spoke with detectives about the sexual abuse incident reported by one of the girls. The girl stated to police that Sume touched her breast, buttocks, and vagina over her clothing, and that it was hard to get away because Sume was holding her close with one hand while groping her with the other.

“When I brought up the time he returned home from the bar and groped 14-year-old (girl) he said he was drunk and thought it was his deceased wife he was groping,” Nicola noted. “He then said he did not recall doing it, but because (the girl) said he did it, he must have because (the girl) does not lie.”

The detective further noted in the probable cause statement that Sume said he later apologized for the Easter incident even though he did not recall engaging in the alleged conduct.

“He said he drank a lot of Vodka and Irish Car Bombs that night and could not recall arriving home,” Nicola wrote, adding that the alleged abuse occurred near the front door of the residence.

A toddler in the house appears to have not been subjected to any abuse, at least according to the court documents made public to date. The report by Nicola mentioned that the girls’ mother was deceased but there is no indication how long Sume had been the sole caregiver.

Court records do not show who is caring for the three girls since Sume was arrested after his interview with detectives.

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