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Murder count dropped in shaken baby case

State's attorney: Charge filed too late to be prosecuted

Published: Monday, May 5, 2014 3:39 p.m. CST • Updated: Monday, May 5, 2014 10:00 p.m. CST
Caption
Charles T. George

DIXON – A Dixon man accused of causing the death of his daughter will no longer be charged with first-degree murder.

Charles T. George, 36, is now charged only with four counts of aggravated battery of a child and one count of aggravated domestic battery of a child.

Lee County State's Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller said Monday that because of "speedy trial" rules, the state wouldn't be allowed to prosecute Charles George on a murder charge, because it was added to his indictment more than 120 days after his original demand for a speedy trial.

Sacco-Miller said the 120 days would have expired in January 2011, making the December 2013 addition of the murder charge far too late. One of her assistants, she said, made her aware of the issue.

She is also asking the court that George, if convicted, be ordered to serve his sentences consecutively, or one after the other – as opposed to serving the sentences concurrently, which is what usually happens with multiple charges in felony cases.

A judge will decide whether George gets consecutive sentences only if the state obtains a conviction.

Because the minimum sentence for a Class X felony is 6 years, and he's charged with four of them, George could face a minimum of 24 years in prison, Sacco-Miller said.

A second grand jury was called, and the first-degree murder charge was added, after new information was obtained from doctors and Sacco-Miller was made aware of a court decision in a similar case.

“There was a brand new case that came out on abusive head trauma that was, in my opinion, less overt than this was,” Sacco-Miller said.

The defendant in that case, she said, was convicted of first-degree murder.

According to court documents, in September 2010, George “knowingly, without lawful justification ... slammed T.O.G. on to the floor causing skull fractures and shook T.O.G. causing severe brain injury, rib fractures and retinal detachments which ultimately caused the death of T.O.G.”

His daughter, 3-month-old Tamari, died 5 days later at a Rockford hospital.

George remained in Lee County Jail on Monday on $1 million bond.

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