Store owner won’t be charged after fatally punching customer
CLEARFIELD, Utah (AP) — Utah prosecutors have declined to charge a store owner who fatally punched another man during an argument.
The Davis County Attorney’s Office said there wasn’t enough evidence that the owner committed a crime in the altercation that led to the death of Brandon Stufflebean, 39, of Layton.
“To the contrary, all the evidence points to the conclusion that (the store owner’s) conduct was legally justified,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing.
Witnesses and the owner, who wasn’t identified, told investigators that Stufflebean argued with employees about buying a drink on April 10.
“The argument escalated into a physical confrontation and the victim was punched once in the face causing the injury,” police said in a statement.
Officers found him unconscious at the store in Clearfield, about 29 miles (47 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City.
Stufflebean was taken to a hospital with a critical head injury and died the next day.
Prosecutors said they reviewed surveillance footage, witness statements and other evidence and determined that the owner would likely not be convicted if charged.
Stufflebean’s family expressed disappointment.
“We felt that there was at least an assault charge or something that would be brought against him because of his actions,” said Christi Carpenter, Stufflebean’s sister-in-law.
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