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Recorded interviews with kids excluded from evidence in George trial

Previous domestic abuse convictions may be presented, judge rules

Published: Friday, May 30, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
Charles T. George

DIXON – Recorded interviews with two 4-year-olds in 2010 won’t be allowed during the trial of a Dixon man accused of causing the death of his daughter.

That was the ruling by Judge Ronald Jacobson on Thursday.

Jacobson also ruled on several other motions relating to the Charles T. George case. The judge said he would allow past convictions for domestic abuse to be presented during the trial, as long as the state can prove that jealousy or frustration with family issues played a role.

On Tuesday morning, Jacobson heard arguments on the defense motions from Lee County State’s Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller and Public Defender Bob Thompson, who is representing George.

Jacobson was expected to announce his ruling Wednesday afternoon, but delayed it until Thursday morning so he could finish watching the video interviews.

George, 36, is charged with four counts of aggravated battery of a child, and one count of aggravated domestic battery of a child, stemming from the September 2010 death of his daughter, 3-month-old Tamari George.

The video interviews involved two children who were living with George at the time of the 2010 incident. They were conducted at the Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center in Dixon by a trained child interviewer, not police officers.

After reviewing the interviews, Jacobson said the responses from the children, who were both about 4 years old at the time, were not spontaneous and repetitive enough to be allowed.

The children weren’t coached by the interviewer, Jacobson said, but the responses to questions weren’t immediate enough to be allowed.

The children still can be called to testify, he said, but if they are unable to give testimony, the recorded interviews cannot be used.

The trial is expected to take place from June 16 to 20.

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