It took more than two months, a week in the San Joaquin County Jail, a $100,000 cash bond and countless trips back-and-forth to Las Vegas.
But on Friday the Clark County Grand Jury announced that it would not seek an indictment on open murder charges against Manteca Pastor Rob Cox stemming from a brawl outside of a popular Las Vegas eatery in June of 2013.
After months of legal wrangling, Cox has been cleared of all charges.
The associate pastor at The Place of Refuge – who runs the youth and music ministry and was on a missionary trip through the Southwest when the incident occurred – was arrested on a murder warrant by Manteca Police in June after the Clark County medical examiner determined that 55-year-old Link Ellingson’s injuries sustained in the brawl were the cause of his death.
Witnesses contended that the 6-foot, 8-inch Ellingson stepped outside of the restaurant to smoke a cigarette and immediately became confrontational with members of the group.
Authorities believe that Cox punched Ellingson, but witnesses claimed that Cox, in defense of his family as well as the group of young people in his care, wrapped his arms around him and fell to the ground.
Ellingson sustained a head injury and died during a medical procedure in a rehab center in December. Legal counsel sought after the incident representing Cox was told initially charges would not be brought, but the warrant was amended in June and eventually forwarded to the Manteca Police Department.
But the case failed to gain traction. The prosecutor, who had filed first-degree murder charges, dropped the initial charges and forwarded the matter onto the grand jury for possible indictment on open murder – making him eligible for lesser charges like manslaughter.
More than a dozen witnesses from Manteca were called to testify in the session.
After nearly a month of consideration, the indictment never came.
The district attorney’s office announced on Friday that it would not be seeking and indictment prior to the grand jury’s decision about whether to pursue a criminal case against Cox.
The state had already agreed to refund the $100,000 bond he posted to avoid extradition to Nevada after initially being arrested.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.