MMA fighter charged with murder

Deaf Smith

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http://www.pnj.com/article/20081224/NEWS01/812240327/1052

Beach brawl suspect to be charged with murder

Saturday night fight ended in man's death


Kris Wernowsky kwernowsky@pnj.com December 24, 2008
  • Ryan Toole, 28, who spent about two months this year training as a mixed martial arts fighter, is charged in the death of Michael Chesney, 32. A conviction on the charge carries a possible state prison term of 20 years to life.
Chesney never regained consciousness after the fight early Saturday morning and spent the last hours of his life at Baptist Hospital in intensive care. The Beulah man was taken off life support early Sunday.
Toole's family has retained veteran criminal defense attorney Barry Beroset to represent him.

Beroset said Tuesday he could not speak about the details of his meeting with Toole, but he said his client's family is concerned about the well-being of Chesney's family.

"It's a very unfortunate situation for the family of this young man," Beroset said.

Attempts to reach Chesney's family Tuesday were unsuccessful. His visitation is scheduled for Friday.

Assistant State Attorney David Rimmer said he has reviewed transcriptions of six interviews, including statements from Toole and other witnesses, about the altercation.

Escambia County Sheriff's Office homicide investigator Chris Baggett expects Toole will be allowed to surrender as early as today on the new charge.

The second-degree murder charge could lead to an increased bond for Toole, who originally was arrested on a count of second-degree attempted murder. He posted a $25,000 bond Sunday.

While Rimmer contends Chesney likely died when the back of his head struck the pavement and not directly because of the punch delivered by Toole, he says the act itself supports the new charge.

"It's going to be the state's position that Ryan Toole caused that to happen," he said. "If you push somebody off a 10-story building, hitting the ground may have killed them. But the mere act that someone pushed them means they can be held liable."

Toole was involved in an altercation with a woman outside The Islander on Pensacola Beach early Saturday. Chesney and a friend, Jason Campbell, 35, intervened about 2:40 a.m., the Sheriff's Office said.

Toole punched Campbell, then punched Chesney, who went down and hit his head on the pavement, Baggett said.

On Tuesday night, deputies assigned to Pensacola Beach were expected to begin checking in with each of the 13 bars at the beach.
Sheriff's Office Lt. Gary Montee said he was instituting the new policy as a result of the fatal fight.

"We can't put a cop on every street corner, but we can try to do what we can with the resources we have," Montee said.

Montee said when he worked at the beach in the 1970s, deputies walked into beach businesses and talked with the owner or employees.
"We would walk into these bars during every shift," he said. "You walk into these places and you get a good feel for its clientele. We are getting back to the basics."
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Deaf note:
And this is why unless you are fighting for your life, a body punch or kick is much safer. Many a person knocked out by a head hit, droped and the fall damaged more than the punch or kick!

Go for the head if your life is on the line, otherwise try to knock the wind out of them and make them fold.

And yes... your skills can come back to haunt you!

Deaf
 

Steve

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Training two months makes him an MMA fighter? Would training 2 months in any other martial art (or any activity, really) give that person enough real skill for it to really make a difference?

On the subject of this guy, I don't know the details, but I'd suspect that he was a brawler MMA training or not. There are people who pick fights at bars and people who don't.

Regarding the fighting for your life thing, I don't know about that. It sounds from the article like he was picking a fight and beating up on a woman. I wonder if he was drunk. Alcohol and low self esteem aren't a good combination. Just ask Junie during last season's TUF series.
 

DavidCC

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this article is just trying to capitalize on general feelings against MMA; "training for 2 months earlier this year"? Article should have read "local drunk and womanizer charged with murder - I'm sure the guy spent many many more hours drinking beer and chasing women than he did training MMA.
 

BrandonLucas

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this article is just trying to capitalize on general feelings against MMA; "training for 2 months earlier this year"? Article should have read "local drunk and womanizer charged with murder - I'm sure the guy spent many many more hours drinking beer and chasing women than he did training MMA.

Agreed. If the guy was anything else acceptable to the general public, then the story would have been different. It sounds like they're trying to spin it like Nicholas Cage's character in Con Air, which is a big, stinking load if you ask me....not that he was right, mind you. From the story, the guy sounds like a jerk, but 2 months training does not an MMA fighter make.

Ask Junie Browning about that one, too.
 

sgtmac_46

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If you're legally justified in punching someone, then the ultimate result is far less relevant, as a justified act that ends badly is still justified.

If you're NOT legally justified, then the ultimate result is VERY RELEVANT!

A prime example is SHOOTING someone.......shooting someone to defend you're life, the question isn't whether the person ends up dying, but whether you were justified in pulling the trigger. Same with all other uses of force.....IF you were justified in punching someone in the face, and they DIE, it doesn't change the fact that your use of force was objectively reasonable....

.....BUT if the punch was NOT justifiable, and hence, ILLEGAL no matter the results, if someone DIES, you've now killed someone in commission of a CRIME!
 

Cryozombie

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Agreed. If the guy was anything else acceptable to the general public, then the story would have been different. It sounds like they're trying to spin it like Nicholas Cage's character in Con Air, which is a big, stinking load if you ask me

Bear in mind, the article makes one quick mention of the fact he had some MMA training, it wasn't the focus OR the title. Thats just how the OP listed here on MT.
 

Steve

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Bear in mind, the article makes one quick mention of the fact he had some MMA training, it wasn't the focus OR the title. Thats just how the OP listed here on MT.
While not in the headline, it's featured in the lead paragraph, which actually does make it very important and prominent to the story. The lead paragraph should tell the reader what the article is about and why it's interesting enough for them to keep reading. That the reporter chose to include this tidbit of information in the lead sentence is telling, and whether it's brought up elsewhere in the article makes little difference. The lead paragraph is also as far as most people read, so it's often all the information that they get about what is in the story.

It's shock reporting, and whether this guy's brief MMA training is relevant or not, it's emphasized simply by where it is in the article, and it's there for a specific purpose: to get people to read the article. As an aside, I think it worked, because I would never have read it had it not been posted here. And it wouldn't have been posted here had it not contained MMA in the text.
 

Cryozombie

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It's shock reporting, and whether this guy's brief MMA training is relevant or not, it's emphasized simply by where it is in the article, and it's there for a specific purpose: to get people to read the article. As an aside, I think it worked, because I would never have read it had it not been posted here. And it wouldn't have been posted here had it not contained MMA in the text.

Same here, so thats probably a very good point. :)
 
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