STILLWATER, Minn. - A Stillwater man is charged with murder following a bar fight over a spilled drink that led to another man's death.
Eric Kaprice Richard, age 22, is charged with second degree unintentional murder and first degree manslaughter.
A criminal complaint says Richard and 29-year-old Adam McCloud were on the dancefloor at Smalley's Caribbean BBQ in Stillwater on September 28 when McCloud knocked a drink out of the defendant's hand.
Witnesses say McCloud offered to buy Richard another drink but then refused to pay for it. An argument ensued just before closing time, leading to a fight. Prosecutors say that surveillance cameras capture Richard punching the victim a number of times, causing him to fall and strike his head on the ground.
McCloud suffered severe head injuries and was taken to Regions Hospital where he died Thursday. Investigators learned Richard's identity from people at the bar and questioned him in the incident.
The criminal complaint says Richard told detectives that McCloud shoved him several times during the altercation and that he felt like he had to defend himself. He also admitted he knew the victim was hurt badly because his eyes were "rolled back up into his head."
"That a death was caused over such a trivial thing as this is so tragic as to be beyond belief," said Washington County Attorney Pete Orput in a written statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to this young man's family with the message that our office will do all that we cant o bring justice to them."
If found guilty on the most serious charge Eric Richard faces a possible 40 year prison sentence.
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