Accused killer Calvert says he has to protect his children - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Accused killer Calvert says he has to protect his children

James is man accused of killing his ex-wife and kidnapping his son. (Source: KLTV staff) James is man accused of killing his ex-wife and kidnapping his son. (Source: KLTV staff)
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

The custody case continues for the children of an East Texas a man accused of killing his ex-wife and kidnapping his son. 

Capital murder defendant James Calvert stood before a family court judge Thursday claiming that he wants to protect his son and daughter from hazardous conditions.

In prison clothes and handcuffs, Calvert addressed the court and objected to a mediation settlement agreement (MSA) regarding custody of his two children.

Calvert was charged with the killing of his estranged ex-wife Jelena Sriraman and kidnapping their four-year-old son, who was the subject of Thursday's hearing.

Judge Carole Clark said that the court had to follow the MSA that was initially filed in March of 2014.

Representatives for the Department of Child Protective Services said that Calvert signed the agreement in the presence of three deputies. Calvert denied that the signing took place and said that the agreement was forced and involuntary.

Calvert's mother, Patsy Calvert, was present in court, but did not speak. 

Early in the two-year custody battle, Calvert wanted his mother to have sole custody of her grandchildren. The capital murder defendant objected to his ex-wife's husband having any type of custody.

According to an order signed by Judge Clark on Thursday, all parties have agreed that the siblings will remain with one of Calvert's male relatives.

Jury selection is underway in Calvert's murder trial which is scheduled to begin on August 25.

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