Man sentenced for fatal bar fightPublished 9:34am Wednesday, December 11, 2013
STILLWATER — A Stillwater man was sentenced Tuesday to more than six years in prison for a bar fight that led to a man’s death.
Eric Richard II, 23, was taken into custody after being sentenced in Washington County court for the 2012 fight that injured Adam McCloud, 29, of Bayport, who later died in a hospital.
“I have no doubt that you are a person with a lot of promise. I hope you live a good life. I want that for you and I would have wanted that for Adam too,” Judge B. William Ekstrum told Richard.
Richard pleaded guilty in September to a reduced charge of first-degree assault. He was initially charged with manslaughter and second-degree murder without intent in McCloud’s death. The two had argued at Smalley’s Caribbean bar in Stillwater in September 2012.
Defense attorney Krista Marks asked the judge to sentence Richard to probation, citing efforts to remain law-abiding since the attack, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1bUXyTG ) reported.
Prosecutor Karin McCarthy said Richard’s attack caused a traumatic brain injury that led to McCloud’s death a few days later at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
The attack came soon after Richard and McCloud were dancing to rap music in the bar and McCloud accidentally knocked a drink from Richard’s hand. A security video shown in the courtroom Tuesday revealed Richard charging at the taller McCloud and knocking him backward with a flurry of punches.
“We know this was a brutal attack,” McCarthy said. “The defendant came at him with his fists flying and the full force of his body. Adam McCloud paid for that spilled drink with his life.”
Before sentencing, Richard apologized in court to McCloud’s family and friends.
“I’m truly sorry. I never meant for any of this to happen. I really do apologize,” he said.
Prosecutors say Richard punched McCloud, causing him to fall, hit his head and fracture his skull. McCloud also fell out of bed while he was at Regions Hospital and medical examiners were unable to determine which head injury caused his death. McCloud died in October 2012 after suffering a series of strokes.
“My brother never woke up again. We never heard his laugh again,” McCloud’s sister, Tara Odebrecht, said in a victim statement. “There really are no words to express the pain.”