Walton gets 7 months for fatal fistfight Judge cuts 5 months from 1-year sentence GLEN BURNIE

September 17, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A 26-year-old construction worker was sentenced to a year in jail yesterday for his part in a fistfight last year at a Greenland Beach tavern in which his 44-year-old opponent was killed.

James F. Walton Jr. of the 200 block of Greenland Beach Road, Greenland Beach, was sentenced yesterday by Judge Raymond Thieme, Jr., who agreed to suspend all but the seven months Mr. Walton has spent in the county Detention Center awaiting trial.

According to court records, Mr. Walton was at Cap'n Bucks tavern on the 8100 block of Fort Smallwood Road at about 1:30 a.m. when he agreed to "step outside" after being challenged to a fight by Michael Dwayne Miles of Glen Burnie.

Mr. Walton punched Mr. Miles in the face. Mr. Miles fell back onto a concrete sidewalk and injured his head. He was taken to North Arundel Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

An autopsy by the state medical examiner's office revealed Mr. Miles died of a fractured skull, according to court records.

Mr. Walton turned himself in to the Eastern District police station the next day.

He spent the next seven months in jail and was released after he pleaded guilty to assault and battery July 29, said his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Gary Christopher.

Mr. Christopher said that if the case had gone to trial, several witnesses would have testified that the two men were friends, that Mr. Miles had goaded Mr. Walton into the fight by repeatedly challenging him in the bar, and that Mr. Walton hit Mr. Miles only after being punched in the eye.

"Everyone said it was an accident, and nobody wanted him to do any more time in jail than he had already spent," Mr. Christopher said.

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