Man pleads guilty to manslaughter charge stemming from fight with hockey coach

A man accused of punching and pushing a man who later died from a head injury has pleaded guilty to a charge filed against him.

Court documents show Ryan Whisler, 45, of St. Paul, pleaded guilty last Monday to felony first-degree manslaughter while committing fifth-degree assault by punching and pushing 48-year-old Michael Ryan of Bloomington in April of 2021 at a downtown St. Paul bar.

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Whisler’s sentencing date is set for Aug. 7 at 1:30 p.m. As part of the plea deal, court documents state he will face no more than 86 months (about 7 years) in prison.

Michael G. Ryan

RELATED: Police investigating after man dies after hitting head outside downtown St. Paul bar

Police received several reports of an assault with a person down around 11:35 p.m. on Saturday at a bar on the 300 block of Washington Street. First responders found Michael Ryan, who had suffered a head injury laying on the pavement.

Michael Ryan was taken to Regions Hospital in critical condition and was pronounced dead the next day.

According to witness accounts, Michael Ryan fell and hit his head during a “physical confrontation” on the bar’s front steps. Police said Whisler left the scene after the incident.