Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Man Convicted of Killing Bar Patron on St. Patrick's Day Over Beer Argument

SANTA ANA, CA- Richard Lee Thompson was convicted today of killing another customer in a bar by hitting him in the head with a pool cue.

Thompson, 48, Lakewood, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of involuntary manslaughter by unlawful act and faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison at his sentencing, Feb. 19, 2010

On March 17, 2008, Thompson started an argument over a beer with 44-year-old Steven Toole at Breaker's Bar in Cypress. The victim pushed the defendant, who fell to the floor. When Thompson stood up, he grabbed a nearby pool cue and swung it at the victim, striking him one time in the head with the fat end of the cue. The victim immediately collapsed and was taken to the hospital. Toole was placed on life support and died the next day.

Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

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