A jury in Cass County will decide the fate of a Morgan County man charged with first degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's son.

A jury in Cass County will decide the fate of a Morgan County man charged with first degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's son.

The public defender for Thomas Joseph (T.J.) Presley requested a change of venue in his case in April. He is charged in the Feb. 2012 death of three-year-old Blake Litton. The change of venue to Cass County — a county in western Missouri and part of the Kansas City metropolitan area — was received Aug. 5 after Circuit Court Judge Ken Hayden transferred the case July 26.

A case review has not yet been set in Cass County.

Presley's girlfriend Jamie Litton, the mother of Blake Litton, also requested a change of venue out of Morgan County. Her case will continue in Laclede County.

Presley reported the Feb. 16 incident that killed the toddler to police at 5:12 a.m. as a hit-and-run accident, allegedly telling a Morgan County deputy that he stopped on the side of the road to allow Blake to use the bathroom during a trip to Presley's brother's residence in Sedalia. Presley told police Blake ran into the road and was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

Investigators were unable to find loose vehicle parts, tire tracks, blood or urine along the side of the road and found nothing to support that an accident had happened.

Following the autopsy, the case was ruled a homicide.

Much of the evidence presented during earlier hearings focused on Litton's behavior at work during the night and text messages sent between Presley and Litton between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. According to testimony by Morgan County deputy James Walker, Litton allegedly asked a co-worker "to borrow money to take her son to the hospital" after receiving text messages from Presley saying that said he "had lost it" when Blake soiled himself.

Other texts allegedly contained details about how Presley abused Blake. Presley took Blake and his younger sister, Faith, to Golden Age Nursing Home in Stover to visit Litton while she was at work.

Presley arrived at Jamie Litton's workplace around 5 a.m. and stayed for three minutes. Security footage shows her visiting with Presley. She allegedly took Blake's pulse before returning to work. Presley then drove to the site of the feigned hit-and-run with Blake and Faith. Prosecution alleges Jamie Litton did not call for an ambulance or police once Presley left.

Jamie Litton, whose shift was scheduled to end at 6 a.m., clocked out at 5:15 a.m. She then allegedly walked to a co-workers house to use a phone charger and was driven to the scene.

The change of venue is likely the result of the large amount of publicity which this case has attracted.