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Southern Illinois Man Accused In Son’s Death Pleads Not Guilty

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METROPOLIS, Ill. (AP) – A man jailed in southern Illinois on charges he killed his 15-month-old son more than a year and a half ago says he’s not guilty.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that 35-year-old John Pruett of Metropolis entered the plea Tuesday on a Massac County charge of first-degree murder.

Illinois State Police say toddler Jackson Pruett was taken unresponsive to a Metropolis hospital in April 2010, and died two days later at a St. Louis hospital.

Authorities say the boy died of a head injury.

Pruett was indicted Nov. 30 and was arrested the next day.

The charge is punishable by up to 60 years in prison.

Pruett is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Jan. 17.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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