Poker Tournament Punch Leads to Manslaughter Charge

When a gambler competes in a poker tournament, they expect to have a great time and enjoy playing the game of poker with friends or fellow poker players. Tournaments can be found at casinos around the world and in the US and the UK, poker tournaments are commonplace with options occurring every day, especially on the weekends. Players must adhere to rules and regulations of the tournaments but after a few drinks, it is not uncommon for players to get out of hand. A tournament that took place a few years ago has now ended up with a player earning a manslaughter after a punch led to a fellow player’s death.

James A. Walsh competed in a poker tournament in the Southbridge area of Worcester County when he placed a huge punch towards a fellow player who ended up dying from the blow. The 41 year old Walsh recently attended a plea hearing where he acknowledged that he hit Daniel McDonald back in March of 2012, during a Texas Hold’em event. After the punch, McDonald suffered from injuries to the brain and skull when he hit the floor which was concrete. Eight days after the incident, McDonald passed away from his injuries.

During the hearing, the prosecutor stated that Walsh ‘sucker punched’ McDonald as the thought he had stated something off-color to his girlfriend. Walsh was seemingly emotionally affected after he heard statements from McDonald’s family members, including his son.

The defendant must now wait until January 30th to be sentenced after Judge James R. Lemire has postponed the sentencing. The judge stated the sentencing was postponed due to personal reasons of Walsh that were not released publically. Walsh was then released on the bail of $2,500 which was posted previously when he was first arrested for the incident. Walsh will not find out his fate until January of next year during the sentencing hearing.

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