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Vernon man arrested after fatal altercation is released from jail

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

A Vernon man who was arrested after a physical altercation in rural Patoka on Sunday afternoon that resulted in the death of a Centralia man was released from custody on Monday.
According to a press release from Fayette County State’s Attorney Stephen Friedel, Ric D. Cline, 27, sustained stab wounds during that altercation and later was pronounced dead at St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia.
Friedel said that the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office was called to a physical altercation in rural Patoka at 4:38 p.m. Also responding were emergency medical personnel from LifeStar Ambulance and Patoka Ambulance.
Cline was taken to the Centralia hospital, and Adam R. Reynolds, 22, Vernon, was taken into custody and  arrested on a charge of aggravated battery.
Friedel said on Monday afternoon that he had directed the sheriff’s office to release Reynolds at 1:15 p.m. that afternoon.
“Initial indications are that Ric Cline was the aggressor,” Friedel said. “However, the investigation has not been completed, and no final decisions have been made regarding any possible charges in the future.”
He said that the investigation was being conducted by Illinois State Police Zone 7 investigators, in conjunction with Fayette County Sheriff Aaron Lay’s office. The investigation has included interviews with witnesses and an autopsy.