Ohio Man Carl Wimpey has been acquitted in the bar fight death of 59-year-old Daniel Vasquez Sr.. The jury had the option of finding him guilty of voluntary manslaughter but they declined to do so. Jurors did convict him of felonious assault, however.
Wimpey and a friend got into a fight with the victim’s nephew Arthur Richter on January 31 at the Brew-Ha’s Bar, after Richter called them “punk-ass bitches,” and taunted them, Lucas County Assistant Prosecutor Frank Spryszak said in opening statements. As described by prosecutors, Vasquez wasn’t even causing trouble. He was trying to stop the brawl, but Wimpey hit him. The victim was knocked out and sustained a broken jaw, authorities said. He passed away several days later on February 4.
Richter was convicted in September for his role in the fight. A jury found him guilty of complicity to murder, and inciting violence.
Surveillance footage shown to jurors showed Richter grabbing a pool stick before the actual fight. He followed Wimpey and another individual out of Brew-Ha’s, and threw beer bottles at their vehicle, prosecutors said. Wimpey and his buddy allegedly charged inside the restaurant, starting the actual fight.
“Nobody wins,” the victim’s son Daniel Vasquez Jr., said, according to The Toledo Blade.
Now it became Wimpey’s turn to face jurors. His friend wasn’t charged in the incident, just him.
The coroner said that Vasquez died from blunt force head trauma from the fight, but a neurosurgeon hired by the defense testified that high stress from the brawl likely caused a dangerous stroke.
The neurosurgeon claims another man (who hasn’t been charged) threw Vasquez to the ground, which caused the subdural hematoma. Punches by Wimpey were not as violent and likely did not cause the bleed, the doctor testified. #WimpeyTrial
— Allison Dunn (@AllisonDBlade) October 18, 2018
Wimpey testified that if he could do anything differently that night, it would be that he wouldn’t have gone to Brew-Ha’s. He said he was afraid for his personal safety when Richter threw beer bottles at his vehicle. He claimed to follow his friend back into the restaurant to protect him. Vasquez didn’t attempt to punch him, but grabbed him and made him fear for his safety, he said.
Defense lawyer Nabih Ayad said in opening statements Thursday that Vasquez’s advance age, intoxicated state, and poor health could’ve contributed to his death. The man was also an active participant in the fight, putting Wimpey in a bear hug, he said.
Spryszak dismissed this could be a case of self-defense. Wimpey may not have intended to kill Vasquez, but that’s irrelevant to the indictment and the jury instructions, he said. The defendant could have avoided a fight that night, but didn’t.
“He chose to engage instead of doing the right thing and walk away,” Spryszak said in closing arguments.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]