East St. Louis man acquitted in domestic battery case is still in jail

News-DemocratFebruary 4, 2014 

An East St. Louis man was acquitted by a jury on Tuesday on felony charges of domestic battery, but he remains in jail while police investigate whether he violated an order of protection for the same victim.

Deandre Higgins, 26, was found not guilty on three counts of domestic battery. The charge was filed as felony because Higgins was previously convicted of domestic battery.

Higgins was charged with grabbing the hair and neck of Victoria Barber on Nov. 4. Barber told police that Higgins also punched her in the face and slammed her to the ground.

Higgins sought treatment at Touchette Regional Hospital in Centreville and medical personnel called police. Higgins' attorney, Erin Conner, said Tuesday that Higgins maintained that he didn't touch Barber and she called police after he was seeing other girls while they were broken up.

Higgins was on parole on a 2011 attempted residential burglary charge in St. Clair County.

After the verdict came in, Higgins was quiet, then smiled and shook hands with Conner and her co-counsel Sara Rice, Conner said.

"From the day I met him, he maintained that he was innocent," Conner said. "When the jury verdict came in, he felt vindicated."

Higgins remains in St. Clair Jail on a parole hold and a 48-hour hold from East St. Louis, according to Jail Superintendent Phillip McLaurin. The reason for the hold from the Illinois Department of Corrections is a violation of an order of protection, McLaurin said.

Barber received an order of protection against Higgins on Nov. 4.

Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at bhundsdorfer@bnd.com or 618-239-2570.

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