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Lawyer: Eastview ex-minister innocent of charges that he injured infant daughter

BLOOMINGTON — A Twin City ex-minister faces 11 criminal charges involving injuries to his 2-month-old daughter, including two broken legs and a broken arm the child suffered in March, authorities said Monday.

Matthew S. Everly, 25, of the 300 block of Hillside Lane, Bloomington, is charged with aggravated battery of a child, reckless conduct and domestic battery.

The charges accuse Everly of pulling the infant's legs and arm sometime between her birth on March 8 and March 26, when the parents sought medical attention. 

A separate abuse and neglect case has been filed in child welfare court against the parents. The infant was temporarily removed from the home, but she has returned to live with her mother, who does not face criminal charges.

Everly previously worked as associate pastor of worship at Eastview Christian Church in Normal.

The church's senior pastor, Mike Baker, declined to comment on Everly's employment with the church or on the pending charges. 

Everly surrendered Monday afternoon in response to a warrant. He posted $25,035 to be released until a June 1 arraignment.

After Everly’s release, his defense lawyer Scott Kording commented: “Matt Everly is a wonderful and talented young man. The filing of these serious allegations visits great difficulty upon him and his family. In response, we ask that judgment be reserved until all the facts are known. He is innocent of these charges.”

If convicted of the most serious charges, Everly is eligible for up to 60 years in prison on the felony charges.

Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny

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