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Judge denies bond reduction in fatal bar fight case

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Carl W. Wimpey, Jr., with attorney Sheldon Wittenberg, in Toledo Municipal court on Feb. 6, 2018.

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Both an Erie Township, Mich., man charged with killing a man in a bar fight and the Toledo man who allegedly started the fight remain in the Lucas County jail.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gary Cook on Monday again declined to reduce the $500,000 bond of Carl W. Wimpey, Jr., 37, who is charged with murder and felonious assault for a Jan. 31 altercation at Brew Ha’s bar on Telegraph Road. The altercation eventually led to the Feb. 4 death of Daniel Vasquez, 59.

Last month, a Lucas County grand jury indicted Arthur Richter, Jr., 40, of the 2900 block of 117th Street for inciting to violence, a third-degree felony, for allegedly starting the fight. Richter is being held in jail on a $75,000 bond.

Frank Spryszak, an assistant county prosecutor, said investigators contend Richter initiated the confrontation in the bar — exchanging words and punches with Mr. Wimpey. He said both Richter and Mr. Wimpey then exited the bar, eventually returning inside where Mr. Wimpey struck Mr. Vasquez,  knocking him unconscious to the floor.

Mr. Spryszak said it appears Mr. Vasquez, a relative of Richter, initially tried to break up the fight and later became the victim of it.

At a pretrial hearing Monday, attorney John Thebes, who represents Mr. Wimpey, asked the court to allow him to be released with the posting of $310,000 in property by two Lucas County residents. In the alternative he asked the court to reduce Mr. Wimpey’s bond to $250,000 so that he could get out of jail by posting the property.

“I believe he is no risk of flight,” Mr. Thebes said. “He has many contacts in this area. He has children, employment, and I believe the risk is absolutely minimal.”

Judge Cook denied the request, saying that because Mr. Wimpey lives in Michigan, he is more likely “at risk of not returning.”

“The nature of the offense and the incentive to return to court is what the court is balancing,” the judge said.

He set a pretrial hearing in Mr. Wimpey's case for May 21. Richter is to be in court again May 2.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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