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The Lake News Online
  • T.J. Presley murder trial set for January 2015

  • The trial of a man charged with murder and child abuse in the death of a 3-year-old boy in Morgan County has been scheduled for the last week of January. The case against Thomas Joseph (T.J.) Presley is slated to be decided by a Cass County jury after a change of venue in 2013.
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  • The trial of a man charged with murder and child abuse in the death of a 3-year-old boy in Morgan County has been scheduled for the last week of January. The case against Thomas Joseph (T.J.) Presley is slated to be decided by a Cass County jury after a change of venue in 2013.
    Located in western Missouri, Cass County is considered part of the Kansas City metropolitan area.
    Morgan County Judge Kenneth Hayden will preside with the Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney's Office representing the state.
    Presley faces charges of murder in the first degree and abuse of a child resulting in death - both Class A felonies — in the 2012 death of Blake Litton, his girlfriend's son.
    Jamie Litton, the mother of Blake Litton, is also facing charges of first degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. Her trial will be held in Laclede County and is currently scheduled to begin Dec. 8.
    Following the incident in which Blake Litton died, Presley and Jamie Litton were initially charged with second degree murder and child endangerment. The first degree murder charges were filed on Nov. 15, 2012.
    Presley reported the incident that killed the toddler to police at 5:12 a.m. Feb. 16, 2012 as a hit-and-run accident, but 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. allegedly containing details about how Presley abused Blake. Presley also 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-worker's house to use a phone charger and was driven to the scene.

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