According to police reports, the child's mother, Jody Alberts, took
her son to the emergency room of Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital
on the morning of Aug. 23. He was then transported to Children's
Hospital of Illinois in Peoria, where he later died.
investigation found the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to
On Aug. 27 Cline was located in Bloomington with family members,
arrested and brought back to Lincoln.
In a Sept. 1 hearing, Cline was told by Judge Thomas M. Harris
Jr. that he would be facing two counts of murder.
However, according to Assistant State's Attorney Jonathan Wright,
Cline appeared before a grand jury on Monday, and the charges were
revised to one count of first-degree murder, which carries a of
sentence of 20 years up to natural life imprisonment.
When asked about the original two-count charges from the Sept. 1
hearing, Wright said, "The two-count information has been dismissed
and we are proceeding on the single count of first-degree murder."
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On Tuesday morning Cline and his attorneys appeared before Harris
and heard the revised charges. At that time, Cline offered a plea of
The case has been placed on the December docket for jury trial.
According to Wright, there is nothing to prohibit Cline from
seeking and pleading guilty to lesser charges between now and
December, but at the moment his attorneys have given no indication
that they will do so.
Cline is currently in the Logan County Jail on a $5,000,000 bond.
[By NILA SMITH]