Judge dismisses case against Indiana man in 1972 Illinois killing

BELLEVILLE, Ill. - An Illinois judge has dismissed a case against an Indiana man accused of beating a baby to death more than 40 years ago.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that St. Clair County Circuit Judge Bob Haida on Wednesday dismissed the case against Gary Warwick of Portage, Ind. The judge found the passage of time prejudiced Warwick's defense.

Warwick's attorney, James Gomric, said they are "very pleased" with the ruling. State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said his office is considering an appeal.

The murder charge was related to the 1972 death of 1-year-old Joseph Henry Abernathy III. Authorities allege Warwick was dating the child's mother but wasn't the child's father.

Warwick was charged in 1973 in the baby's death, but the case was dismissed without explanation. New charges were brought in September.

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