Manteca pastor charged with murder free for now

STOCKTON - After making bail on a murder charge out of Las Vegas, Robert Cox of Manteca walked out of San Joaquin County Jail Monday afternoon.

Cox spent a week incarcerated after being arrested at his church, Place of Refuge, in Manteca, last week. He has been charged for an altercation with a Las Vegas man from about a year ago in which Cox insists he was attacked and acted in self defense. The other man, Link Ellingson, fell during the incident, hit his head and went into a coma. He died in December.

"I was attacked last year, and now I feel attacked again this year. I don't understand," Cox said. "In October, I got a letter from the district attorney and thought it was over. Everyone thought it was over. Tuesday, I got arrested at my church in front of my students and school."

Cox' Las Vegas attorney is baffled as well, saying the only thing that's changed is Ellingson's death. Warren Geller said every eyewitness to the altercation declared Cox was strictly defending himself during an attack.

Cox has a court date in Las Vegas on June 13 on the murder charge. Geller said if the district attorney doesn't drop the charge, a trial is entirely possible, since Cox insists on proving his innocence.


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