BLOOMINGTON — A judge set a July 22 trial date Friday for a Bloomington woman accused of beating to death her boyfriend's 8-year-old daughter.
Cynthia Clay, 41, also known as Cynthia Baker, 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.
Bloomington defense lawyer Todd Ringel asked for a July trial date. A final pre-trial hearing is set for July 18.
Assistant State's Attorney Mary Koll said the state plans to file several pre-trial motions; hearings are set July 8-9 for arguments on issues raised in those motions.
Koll also told Judge Casey Costigan the state has not received records requested under a subpoena from the state Department of Children and Family Services.
The agency conducted multiple investigations into alleged abuse of the child prior to her death but deemed the allegations unfounded, according to a March statement from DCFS. The agency is currently investigating the girl's death.
Baker was indicted April 24 on murder charges. At a bond hearing after her arrest, a prosecutor said police obtained video from a cellphone showing the child being abused by the woman. The video includes an August video in which the child was dragged by the neck while Baker taunts and hits her, said the prosecutor.
In December, the girl arrived at school with two black eyes, according to the state. Clay claimed the injuries were self-inflicted and refused to take the girl for medical treatment as directed by DCFS.
The victim's biological mother, Ann Simmons, is currently serving a 2½-year prison term for failing to follow the terms of her probation on aggravated drunken driving charges.
In an interview after her daughter's death, Simmons said she had concerns for her daughter's safety as signs of alleged abuse were reported. She has been critical of the state's response to those reports.
Baker remains jailed in lieu of posting $100,035.