Eric Richard, the man accused of killing Adam McCloud as the result of a bar fight in downtown Stillwater, made his first appearance today in Washington County District Court.
Richard, 22, of Stillwater faces second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter charges stemming from the Sept. 28, assault of McCloud at Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque and Pirate Bar in downtown Stillwater.
The complaint alleges that Richard and McCloud argued over a spilled drink, and that Richard was seen to have repeatedly punched McCloud in the face and head, causing him to fall and strike his head on the ground.
Richard told police he was acting in self-defense after being pushed by McCloud several times. His bail was initially set at $200,000.
Richard currently remains in custody of the Washington County Jail.
During Friday afternoon’s court hearing, Richard’s attorney Greg Schmidt asked the judge to reduce the bail amount or set a secondary bail with conditions.
Schmidt requested the bail be no more than $50,000 without conditions and no more than $20,000 with conditions. Schmidt said the bail should be reduced because Richard has no history of chemical abuse or mental health issues, no criminal record, has lived in the area for many years and has followed all the rules in jail.
“He has not had a criminal history and the charges in this case are not intentional-death charges—they are serious charges—but they are not intentional death,” Schmidt said. “The circumstances set forth in the complaint certainly are tragic and most unfortunate there’s no doubt about that, but as to criminal propensity Mr. Richard has not been charged with intentional death in this case.”
Schmidt said it is also difficult to work on this case with Richard in jail.
But Assistant Washington County Attorney Karin McCarthy countered Schmidt’s argument saying the bail is appropriate due to the seriousness of the alleged offense.
“This is an incident that happened in a bar,” McCarthy told the judge. “It was a vicious incident where he hit the victim several times, the victim fell to the ground and the defendant left without making any attempt to check on the victim, and as we know, the victim died.”
McCarthy said this isn’t the first time Richard has had problems at Smalley’s.
“The defendant has been involved in fights in that bar on previous occasions, and in fact, was investigated for an incident just a few weeks prior to this incident,” McCarthy said. “This is a very serious case and there is a very high risk to public safety. The defendant committed a brutal assault on this victim in the bar that night, and I don’t think we should discount that.”
The judge kept Richard’s cash bail at $200,000. A secondary bail was set at $100,000 with conditions of abstaining from chemical use and submitting to random testing.
If Richard posts bail, he was ordered not to have any contact with the victim’s family or witnesses in the case. An omnibus hearing was set for Jan. 25 at 1 p.m.
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