Hearing For Man Charged in Blake Litton's Murder Postponed

4 years 6 months 1 week ago March 21, 2012 Mar 21, 2012 Wednesday, March 21 2012 Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:58:00 AM CDT in News
By: Meghann Mollerus

MORGAN COUNTY - The Stover man charged with the murder of three-year old Blake Litton did not appear in court Wednesday, though the judge initially had scheduled a case review. Morgan County judge Kevin Schehr rescheduled 21-year-old Thomas Presley's case review for next Wednesday, indicating the prosecution is awaiting necessary materials from the murder investigation before proceeding.   

Authorities arrested Presley on Feb. 16 and charged with him second-degree murder in connection to Litton's death.  Presley is the boyfriend of Blake Litton's mother, 25-year-old Jamie Litton, whom authorities also arrested Feb. 16.  Presley has been charged with second-degree murder, abuse of a child and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Investigators have said Presley admitted to beating Blake Litton repeatedly, until he thought the boy had become paralyzed.  In an attempt to cover up the murder, he said he then staged a hit-and-run accident on Route 135 near Stover after informing the boy's mother what had happened. 

A probable cause statement cites Presley as saying he exchanged several texts with Jamie Litton about Blake's condition and his plan to stage the murder as an accident. Jamie Litton also has been charged with second-degree murder, and a court date for her case has been set for May.

Although attorneys on both sides of Presley's case are under a court-issued gag order, the judge did allow Prosecuting Attorney Dustin Dunklee to tell KOMU that he has received 200 to 300 phone calls from viewers of HLN television personality Nancy Grace.  During her March 6. show, Grace urged people to call the prosecutor's office and demand first-degree murder charges for Presley and Jamie Litton.  In court Wednesday, the judge begged the question to reporters of whether Grace, a former prosecutor, could be tampering with pre-trial proceedings.

In Sweet Springs, residents held two candlelight vigils for Blake Litton last month.  Although Jamie Litton's father, James Miller, declined a request to talk about the case, he did give the family minister permission to talk about Blake and the public's reaction to the case in the Morgan County community.

"He always had a smile on his face, ready to give a hug," minister John Wagner said. "The community is devastated. You know, those unanswered questions as to why--we just don't know, and the community doesn't really know where to go from here."

Wagner said Blake has three sisters--Alexis and Holly, Blake's half-siblings from Jamie Litton's first marriage to Shane Bridges, and three-year-old Faith, Blake's full sibling from Jamie's second marriage with Robbin Martin.  Investigators reported they found Faith had injuries that could be consistent with abuse, and shortly after Blake's death, Faith went to the hospital with an untreated broken wrist and other injuries.  Wagner said Faith has been released from the hospital and is recovering well with her father and grandparents.

Wagner said Jamie Litton and her four children lived with her parents, LaVerra and James Miller, for a few years until her second divorce.  Wagner said the Millers saw no signs of abuse while the children were living with them, but when Jamie moved in with T.J. Presley in January, she stopped taking the children to see their grandparents.

Currently, Presley and Jamie Litton are in jail.  The judge said the preliminary hearing for Presley could be set as soon as at the case review next Wednesday.

Further details about the case can be found in the probable cause statement.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Festival-goers cheered as local blues artists took the stage for their hometown's largest music festival on Saturday. ... More >>
47 minutes ago October 01, 2016 Oct 1, 2016 Saturday, October 01 2016 Saturday, October 01, 2016 4:43:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the St. Louis Election Board to make electronic machines available to... More >>
1 hour ago October 01, 2016 Oct 1, 2016 Saturday, October 01 2016 Saturday, October 01, 2016 4:23:15 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The mid-Missouri community joined together on Saturday to celebrate the various cultures in the area. “The United... More >>
1 hour ago October 01, 2016 Oct 1, 2016 Saturday, October 01 2016 Saturday, October 01, 2016 3:50:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Home Runs for Heroes is a charity softball tournament in Columbia that gathers hundreds of people and raises... More >>
2 hours ago October 01, 2016 Oct 1, 2016 Saturday, October 01 2016 Saturday, October 01, 2016 3:14:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested two men after shots fired were reported in southern Columbia early Saturday morning. Officers said... More >>
7 hours ago October 01, 2016 Oct 1, 2016 Saturday, October 01 2016 Saturday, October 01, 2016 10:11:41 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Oct. 1 The University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources hosts the tenth annual South... More >>
9 hours ago October 01, 2016 Oct 1, 2016 Saturday, October 01 2016 Saturday, October 01, 2016 7:53:00 AM CDT in News
ST.LOUIS (AP)- Carlos Martinez pitched seven sharp innings, Matt Holliday hit an emotional home run and the St. Louis Cardinals... More >>
18 hours ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 11:09:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo.(AP)-Cleveland Indians defeated the Kansas City Royals 7-2 Friday night. Ryan Merritt gave up a run on... More >>
18 hours ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 10:56:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Federal prosecutors said a man serving a life sentence for his role in a 1988 explosion... More >>
23 hours ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 5:50:41 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Current and future health care professionals gathered in Columbia to talk about ethics and digital media on Friday.... More >>
1 day ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 5:15:00 PM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY –The Callaway County Jail has an aging security system as old as the jail itself, which was built... More >>
1 day ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 4:21:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Members of the University of Missouri Police Department and the Legion of Black Collegians met together Thursday night... More >>
1 day ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 4:14:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- The 10th annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival kicked off Friday and festival coordinators have been working to... More >>
1 day ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 3:43:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - MU's Association of Black Graduate and Professional Students unveiled a historical marker Friday at the location of Columbia's... More >>
1 day ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 2:54:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Farmers, and farmers at heart, can be happy that a new farmers market is in the works for... More >>
1 day ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 2:17:00 PM CDT in News
BENTON (AP) — Authorities are searching for an inmate who escaped from a southeast Missouri jail. The Southeast Missourian... More >>
1 day ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 12:43:43 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - As a broadcast station, visual representation of stories is an important part of coverage at KOMU 8 News.... More >>
1 day ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 11:54:00 AM CDT in News
FARBER - Authorities shot a man armed with a shotgun in Farber late Thursday night, the Missouri State Highway Patrol... More >>
1 day ago September 30, 2016 Sep 30, 2016 Friday, September 30 2016 Friday, September 30, 2016 9:56:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 65°
6pm 66°
7pm 65°
8pm 63°
9pm 62°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:00a
2016 Ryder Cup
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
5:00p
Made in Hollywood
5:30p
Cops Reloaded
6:00p
Cheaters

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Good Place
7:30p
The Good Place
8:00p
The Good Place
8:30p
The Good Place
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld