Chester man suspected of killing unborn child denied bond

adys@heraldonline.comMarch 15, 2013 

— A judge denied bond Friday to the Chester man accused of killing his unborn son after stabbing his girlfriend in 2012.

For the first time Friday, Aris Nichols, 39, claimed that someone else committed the brutal stabbing that left Brittany Jordan partially paralyzed and caused the death of their unborn son.

Nichols is charged with killing a child in utero, attempted murder, and other charges. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 65 years in prison.

Sixth Circuit Chief Public Defender Mike Lifsey, Nichols’ lawyer, told Circuit Court Judge Brooks Goldsmith in court Friday at the Lancaster County judicial complex that Nichols claims he found Jordan stabbed, then sought help “as soon as possible.”

Prosecutors balked at the suggestion that anyone else stabbed Jordan.

Sixth Circuit Solicitor Doug Barfield said in court that Jordan told police that Nichols stabbed her at about 8:30 a.m. April 26, leaving her helpless for hours before she was found around 1:30 p.m.

The stabbing followed an argument between the two during which Jordan had packed her clothes and was going to leave, prosecutors said.

“He said he had something for her, which was a knife,” Barfield said. “He left her on the floor, covered her up and left. She was begging for help.”

Jordan, who is less than 5 feet tall and no more than 100 lbs., now walks with a cane after being in a wheelchair for months. She was in court Friday but did’t speak.

Her wounds after the attack were so severe that the placenta connecting mother to child was disrupted by the attack, Barfield said. Jordan was airlifted to a Columbia hospital, where an emergency delivery was too late to save the child.

“The baby had no means to survive,” Barfield said.

Also, it was not Nichols but his cousin who called police hours after the stabbing, Barfield said. Nichols was outside the mobile home the couple shared April 26 when police arrived.

Nichols did not speak in court Friday.

The case against Nichols alleging he killed the unborn baby boy, who was to be named Tavaris, is one of the first times a largely untested 2006 state law concerning crimes against the unborn has been used. It is the first prosecution of its kind in York, Chester or Lancaster counties.

Barfield said prosecutors have “made an offer” in the case concerning a guilty plea that would avoid a trial, but Nichols has not accepted.

Prosecutors and Jordan’s family do not want Nichols released. Her stepmother, Lakisha Jordan, said in court that Brittany Jordan and the family are terrified of Nichols and asked Judge Goldsmith to keep Nichols locked up.

“I beg you, please, no bond, please,” Lakisha Jordan said.

Nichols has been in jail since his April 26 arrest. His criminal record of drug and violence convictions dates back to 1990. He has spent several years in prison and has more than a dozen convictions, the most recent in 2010.

Nichols and Jordan, 21, have two other children together, ages 3 and 2.

The next step in the case will be a hearing on Nichols’ mental competency. Nichols has been tested but results have not been made public.

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Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065

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