MARION COUNTY — A preliminary hearing Wednesday in the case accusing a 48-year-old Centralia man with involvement in the severe beating last month of a 15-year-old boy on a Centralia street revealed new information.
Christopher James was identified in court Wednesday as the step-father of three of the four juveniles who have also been charged in connection with the case.
A 14-year-old, 15-year-old and two 17-year-old juvenile males have also been charged with two counts each of aggravated battery. All four are being detained in the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center.
James is charged in Marion County court with Class 3 felony aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and Class 3 felony aggravated battery in a public place.
Probable cause was found in court Wednesday to pursue charges against James who remains in the Marion County Jail with bail set at $250,000. He’s pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors in the case Wednesday said evidence shows James had initially intervened in the beating but also beat the 15-year-old boy with his bike and stomped the boy as he was lying in the street. James remains in the Marion County Jail with bail set at $250,000.
Police testimony confirmed the victim of the beating was an alleged member of the Rude Boys gang and that police believe he was likely responsible for shots that had been fired into the Morning home where James lived at the time with the three step-sons charged in the case.
Authorities say the victim suffered a level two permanent brain injury but it had not yet been determined what extent of recovery can be expected.
A grandmother told police her grandson was unable to speak or have any memory of the incident, something that was confirmed by medical staff.