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Criminal charge dropped in fight that ended in fatal injury

A southwestern Indiana magistrate has dismissed a reckless homicide charge in the death of a man who was injured in a so-called play fight.

Posted: Mar. 8, 2018 9:14 AM

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southwestern Indiana magistrate has dismissed a reckless homicide charge in the death of a man who was injured in a so-called play fight.

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Vanderburgh County prosecutors had asked that the charge against 27-year-old Daniel Cundiff of Evansville be dropped after his friend's death was deemed "more accidental in nature than reckless."

The Evansville Courier & Press reports that a magistrate dismissed the charge Tuesday. Sixty-year-old Larry Stephenson died months after he suffered spinal fractures and paralysis in the fight.

Court documents show Stephenson and friends were visiting Cundiff's home in November 2016. Stephenson, who was intoxicated, initiated a play fight with Cundiff outside.

The men were wrestling when Cundiff picked up Stephenson, then slipped and dropped him. Stephenson suffered head and neck injuries.

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