Updated: 09/23/2013 8:38 PM
Created: 09/23/2013 3:02 PM KSTP.com
By: Maricella Miranda
A man has pleaded guilty in a deadly assault against a 29-year-old man at a bar in Stillwater.
Eric Kaprice Richard, 22, of Stillwater, pleaded guilty Monday in Washington County District Court to first-degree assault involving the September 2012 assault.
Richard is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10. The Washington County Attorney's Office plans to ask for a prison sentence that follows state guidelines, the office reported.
The assault against Adam McCloud happened Sept. 28 at Smalley's Barbeque in downtown Stillwater. The 29-year-old Bayport man hit his head on the floor during the fight, which started over a spilled drink. McCloud died at Regions Hospital in St. Paul nearly a week later.
Richard repeatedly punched McCloud in the face and head, causing him to fall to the floor, hitting his head, according to a criminal complaint. McCloud suffered several skull fractures and bleeding in his head.
Charges against Richard were reduced from murder and manslaughter to first-degree assault after a medical examiner said the cause of Adam McCloud's death was inconclusive.
Prosecutors said McCloud fell out of his hospital bed and struck his head before he died, which made it difficult to pursue homicide charges against Richard.
"This is a truly tragic case where the criminal justice system can reach only so far in providing a level of justice," said Washington County Attorney Pete Orput in a statement. "There is obviously nothing the system can do to properly salve this horrendous wound."