CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE - A grand jury Tuesday indicted Charles R. Kane Jr. on a first-degree murder charge for the second time in connection with the death of 3-year-old Elijah Ulbrich.

Kane, 35, of Lower Township, was first indicted on the murder charge and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, both second-degree crimes, on Dec. 7, 2010.

The county Prosecutor's Office alleges that on Feb. 25, 2010, while Kane was babysitting the boy in his North Wildwood home, Kane beat Elijah.

The boy was taken to Cooper University Hospital in Camden for his injuries, but he died at the hospital on March 17 after being in a coma for three weeks.

An autopsy found he died from blunt head trauma or complications from suffering blunt head trauma.

First Assistant Prosecutor J. David Meyer said Tuesday that the case was presented to a second grand jury because there was an omission in the original court record regarding at what point the first grand jury returned its true bill.

In addition, a legal instruction was clarified the second time around, he said.

According to the indictment, the second grand jury found that Kane had endangered Elijah's welfare "by willfully failing to obtain timely emergency medical treatment for Elijah Ulbrich for the serious bodily injury inflicted by Charles Richard Kane Jr."

Defense attorney John Tumelty, representing Kane, filed a motion to dismiss the first indictment based on the Prosecutor's Office instructions to the grand jury. That motion is scheduled to be heard April 11.

Kane is charged with nonintentional serious bodily injury, murder, and Tumelty questioned the way the definition of that specific charge was given to grand jurors in the first indictment.

Kane had been expected to plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter in October, but he opted not to take the plea agreement, which came with a 20-year prison term. He faces between 30 years to life in prison if convicted of murder.

Elijah's father, Richard Ulbrich, said Tuesday that he welcomed the news of the second indictment.

"We're happy with it," he said.

Contact Trudi Gilfillian:

609-463-6716

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