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Bond kept at $1 million in Bloomington child beating case

Bond kept at $1 million in Bloomington child beating case


BLOOMINGTON — A judge Friday rejected a request to reduce bond from $1 million for a Bloomington woman accused of beating to death her boyfriend's 8-year-old daughter.

Judge Casey Costigan agreed with the state's determination that Cynthia Baker, 41, of Bloomington, is unlikely to commit another offense or fail to return to court if released, but he cited the seriousness of the charges she faces in denying her request for a lesser payment.

Baker is required to post $100,035 to be released.

Baker, also known as Cynthia Clay, is charged with murder and aggravated battery in the the Jan. 26 death of Rica Rountree. According to charges, Clay kicked the child in the abdomen, causing fatal injuries.

Rountree was beaten while standing naked, punched repeatedly in the back and pelted with verbal insults before she died in January, according to a prosecutor's statement.

"What those videos show are a battery and an aggravated battery. They do not show murder," said Bloomington defense lawyer Todd Ringel of why bond should be lowered.

Ringel said Baker has no other criminal history and that a witness described a second person "punch(ing) Rica in the stomach with an open and closed hand."

Assistant State's Attorney Mary Koll said Baker may be a threat to other children if released.

"This is maybe the lowest bond of all of our pending or recent murder cases," she said.

Baker remains jailed and will go to trial Oct. 15. A status hearing is set for 9 a.m. July 26.

Contact Derek Beigh at (309) 820-3234. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_beigh

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