Man to be retried years after jury hangs on neglect

Published 10/30 2013 12:44PM

Updated 10/30 2013 12:56PM

COLES COUNTY -- A man who was acquitted of murder and moved on with his life is being brought back for a new trial, years after the original one. In 2008, a disabled man was beaten to death in a Charleston group home. It was shut down soon after, but the case isn't closed.

Police say workers at the home attacked the victim. Most were charged with aggravated battery or involuntary manslaughter, served time and moved on.

Christopher Oliver was charged with first degree murder and neglect. Oliver was acquitted of murder, but jurors couldn't make a unanimous decision on neglect. That's why the state is bringing him back for a retrial.

The State's Attorney believes Oliver is connected to the death of Dustin Higgins. He was attacked by employees at Graywood in 2008. Higgins died eight days after the attack.

Assistant State's Attorney Robert Scales says there will be witnesses who will testify at the retrial, but wouldn't go into specifics about what he says is strong evidence to convict Oliver of neglect.

Sources say Oliver didn't serve much time and is now a student at Ball State University. He'll have to take time off school for a retrial. It starts March 24, 2014.

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