TOLEDO — A Westfield man has been charged with first degree murder in connection with the death of a woman following an alleged domestic battery incident in Cumberland County.
State's Attorney Bryan Robbins has filed charges of murder with intent to kill and aggravated domestic battery against Toby Lane, 44, of Westfield alleging that he inflicted injuries on Bridget Duncan, 42 of Westfield on or about July 18 that led to her death early Wednesday morning at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.
During a bond hearing Thursday afternoon, Robbins said the Illinois State Police investigation report found that Lane dropped off Duncan injured and topless early July 18 at the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center emergency room. Robbins said Lane reportedly pinned a note to Duncan's clothes and said he would be right back, but then left the hospital and did not return.
The Champaign County Coroner's Office reported Thursday afternoon that preliminary autopsy results revealed that Duncan died from blunt force trauma to the head. An inquest will be held at a later date. This death is being investigated by the State Police and the coroner's office.
Robbins said Lane reportedly told investigators that he had been in the woods in rural Cumberland County with Duncan earlier, returned later and found that she was injured, and then took her to the hospital. Robbins said Duncan's injuries indicated that she had been held down at some point when she was beaten.
During Thursday's hearing, Robbins sought to set bond at a level at which Lane would need to post $100,000 in order to be released from the custody of the Cumberland County jail. Robbins cited Lane's previous criminal record in seeking the maximum bond for the charges filed against him and argued that Lane is a threat to the community.
"This case is particularly brutal in the murder and the disregard shown for the defendant and the life of Bridget, given that he dropped her essentially at the emergency room," Robbins said.
Public Defender Shon Park sought a lower bond level, arguing that there was no evidence that Lane was party to the attack on Duncan, no confession and no witnesses. Circuit Judge Jonathan Braden opted to set bond at the maximum level. Lane has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 3.
Robbins said the courthouse in Toledo was closed on Thursday due to a Cumberland County staff member testing positive for COVID-19, so the bond hearing had to be conducted virtually via Zoom.
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Contact Stroud at (217) 238-6861.
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