Man may be charged with manslaughter in Holly bar patron's death

Man may be charged with manslaughter in Holly bar patron's death

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By Roop Raj
FOX 2 News Detroit


HOLLY, Mich. -- "I'm very upset.  One of the worst days in my life, and I feel bad for their family," said Luvic Skrela.

The owner of New Martini's Bar and Grill in Holly talked to us about last Friday, a dark day for an otherwise spirited community, a tight knight group that gathers at the bar.  A regular fixture, Ronald Smith of Highland (pictured above) had been a patron for the past seven years or so.

Customers who were inside at the time and the owner told us that Smith was apparently looking out for his twin brother, who got in some type of altercation on the patio.  When he sprang into action in his brother's defense, we're told he was punched in the face.  He fell and hit his head against the cement.

"Somebody sucker punched him in the head, and we lost a good friend and a good customer," said Skrela.

Smith died Monday.  The man accused of the eventual fatal blow has not been identified yet.  The 37-year-old Fenton man could face manslaughter charges.  Our legal analyst Charlie Langton said Holly Police compiled the evidence and are now waiting on Oakland County Prosecutor's Office.

"Prosecutor can do any number of things. That's completely dependent on the evidence.  I really don't want to speculate on what the prosecutor's office will do.  The Michigan Department of Corrections has a detainer on him right (for) parole violations," said Interim Holly Police Chief Michael Story.

Meanwhile, the bar has come together and already raised enough money to fly Smith's father in from Oklahoma so he can attend the funeral.  They also plan to do more of a benefit inside of the bar at a later date to raise money for funeral expenses.

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