Dixon man faces manslaughter charge in baby’s beating death
By Jim Hagerty
A 33-year-old Dixon man has been charged in the beating death of a 3-month-old baby, Lee County officials said Friday, Feb. 4.
Charles George faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated battery of a child and domestic battery in connection with the death of his daughter, Tamari George.
According to an autopsy report from the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office, the infant suffered several injuries consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome including retinal hemorrhaging, broken ribs and skull fractures.
The infant was taken to KSB Hospital in Dixon Sept. 20, 2010, after her mother, Heather Pitchford, noticed Tamari had a swollen eye and seemed lethargic.
The baby was later flown to Rockford Memorial Hospital, where she died Sept. 23.
George was charged Thursday, Feb. 3, almost five months after his daughter’s death.When interviewed by police last year, George admitted to shaking the baby while he changed her diaper to get her to stop crying, a probable cause affidavit notes.
As he shook the child “four or five times,” George said he dropped her onto the floor.
George has been in the Lee County jail since Sept. 30 on felony battery charges.
According to police, George beat his 4-year-old son with a plastic crank from a window blind last summer. He is scheduled to go to trial for felony battery in March. Charges in the manslaughter case are set to be brought to a grand jury by Feb. 25.
George faces more than 40 years in prison if convicted. He is represented by Lee County Public Defender Bob Thompson.
As of press time, George was awaiting a Friday court hearing, while Lee County prosecutors said they plan to request George’s bond be increased from $250,000 to $1 million.
The Lee County Public Defender’s Office could not reached for comment.
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