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A Nevada judge has dropped a murder charge against a Manteca pastor but the Clark County district attorney says he is bringing the case against Robert Cox to a grand jury.

Cox, who serves at The Place of Refuge in Manteca, was arrested and jailed in early June for the death of Link Ellingson. Ellingson, 55, died in December 2013 six months after being struck by Cox during an altercation outside of a sports bar in Nevada. Ellingson fell and lapsed into a coma. His death was ruled a homicide.

Cox was with a group from his church at the time of the confrontation. His mother-in-law, Jan Dillman, said Ellingson "pushed another girl several times, hit another young man in our group. He was threatening, cussing, and choked and hit Rob square in the face, and Rob is a big man."

"It's tragic a man died," Tillman said. "But certainly there was not anything Rob or our group did, nothing but defend ourselves."

Cox was charged with Ellingson's murder earlier this year.

RELATED STORY: Manteca pastor charged with murder free for now

The judge also granted a motion by Cox's attorney to return $100,000 bail Cox's family put up for his release from custody.

Clark County D.A. Steve Wolfson make this statement about Friday's developments: Due to the fact that there is an active and ongoing grand jury presentation the state will not be making any comment.

Dillman described the situation as "like a half-time win. We're ahead, but we have to finish the game."

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