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Month after acquittal, Mattoon man faces new battery charges in unrelated case

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MATTOON — Jesse A. Baird, the Mattoon man acquitted by a Coles County jury of aggravated battery last month, was arrested Wednesday on a new battery charge in an unrelated case.

The Coles County State's Attorney's Office filed aggravated battery in a public place and a misdemeanor domestic battery charge against Baird, 30, on Wednesday following his arrested by the Mattoon Police Department.

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A police department press release reported that Baird was arrested at 10:44 p.m. Tuesday in the 600 block of Charleston Avenue for allegedly punching a female subject during a domestic dispute while they were walking in the 800 block of that roadway. He was subsequently taken to the Coles County jail.

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During a bond hearing on Wednesday, Baird was released from custody and had his preliminary hearing scheduled for May 20.

Coles County jury acquits man of beating other who fondled self near children

Regarding the earlier separate case, Baird had been charged with aggravated battery for beating a man that Baird said he found masturbating in front of two children, ages 1 and 2, on Oct. 1 at a Mattoon apartment. The other man suffered fractures and other injuries and spent about a month in the hospital, according to the evidence.

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A jury returned a not guilty verdict April 14 against Baird, who never denied beating the other man. Defense attorney Duane Deters argued to the jury that Baird was justified because he was defending the children against a crime taking place. Danley said the other man's action was "deplorable" but described what Baird did as "vigilante justice."


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Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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