No bond for slap

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Stone Mountain man accused of slapping a stranger's toddler in Wal-Mart will remain behind bars for the foreseeable future.

Roger Stephens, 61, was denied bond Tuesday morning in Gwinnett Magistrate Court. Felony charges of first degree cruelty to children were bound to Superior Court for indictment, according to a court representative.

State law requires that all suspects denied bond be considered for indictment within 90 days of their arrest.

Stephens' court-appointed attorney, Kelly Kautz, could not be reached for comment. It was unclear Tuesday if she'll seek another bond hearing in the higher court later.

Police arrested Stephens Aug. 31 on charges he slapped a 2-year-old at least four times in the face as she stood beside her mother in a Wal-Mart on Rockbridge Road.

Stephens had warned the crying child's mother, "If you don't shut that baby up, I'll shut her up for you," and after the slapping declared: "See, I told you I would shut her up," according to a police report. He was cornered by another shopper and arrested.

Though the child's injuries were not serious, the allegations became a sensation at news outlets around the world last week, prompting a firestorm of angry reader comments and blog postings.