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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Criminal Justice Quote: No One Charged in Deadly Baseball Brawl

     San Francisco prosecutors have declined to file charges in a stabbing case stemming from the Giants-Dodgers rivalry that resulted in the death of a 24-year-old Dodgers fan near AT&T Park in 2013. District Attorney George Gascon said on March 21, 2014 that his office could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Michael Montgomery, 21, of Lodi, California, did not act in self-defense when he stabbed Fort Bragg, California resident Jonathan Denver in a brawl on September 25, 2013.

     Authorities say subsequent interviews with witnesses and fight participants conducted over the past six months revealed that Denver and his brother had teamed up against Montgomery before he used the knife to defend himself. Denver had left a Giants-Dodgers game that night with his father and brother in the eighth inning to go to a bar. They encountered Montgomery and his friends in front of a liquor store…around 11:30 PM. One of Montgomery's friends was wearing a Giants cap.

     The two groups argued about the Giants-Dodgers rivalry, and the squabbling escalated into a brawl. Authorities say both groups were intoxicated: Denver's group on alcohol and Montgomery's group on marijuana.

     Montgomery was booked into the county jail on suspicion of homicide, but he was released two days later when prosecutors concluded there was not enough evidence to file charges….The two brothers collectively weighted about 150 pounds more than Montgomery and they double-teamed him….Witnesses told investigators that Montgomery had a bottle in his hand for self-defense when Denver's brother grabbed an aluminum chair…and hit Montgomery in the head with it. Montgomery dropped the bottle and stabbed Denver who had been punching him during the assault….

Vivian Ho, "No Charges in Fatal Stabbing Fueled by Giants-Dodgers Rivalry," San Francisco Chronicle, March 21, 2014 

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