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Colorado Springs man to avoid prison in deal over friend's death

A Colorado Springs man, 22, will avoid time in prison as part of an agreement he recently reached with prosecutors. The man had been charged in the death of his close friend after the two apparently got into a fight and tumbled down a flight of stairs together.

The defendant pleaded guilty to reckless manslaughter and third-degree assault. He receives a deferred four-year sentence, meaning essentially that he'll serve no time in prison if he stays out of trouble for the next four years.

The charge typically carries a six-year maximum sentence. Prosecutors had initially sought to have that sentence enhanced, but dropped that effort as part of the plea agreements, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.

The defendant's father said the two young men were good, close friends who were alone at the time of the fall down the stairs. The reason for their fight has not been publically disclosed.

The victim, 22, was dropped off at a hospital after he suffered head injuries in the fall. He died two days later, according to Colorado Springs law enforcement officials.

The victim's mother had objected to the arrest of her son's friend. She told the Colorado Springs Gazette that her son's death was accidental.

"This is something that he'll have to live with every day for the rest of his life and that's prison enough," she said.

We wrote about this case in early December, after the defendant's father spoke to the newspaper.

He said at the time that he wasn't sure if the two had been drinking before they fought and fell down the stairs. He said the two had been at one point roommates but the victim, "a good kid," had for some reason been angry with his son and an altercation had ensued.

Source: gazette.com, "Man, 22, won't do prison time in death of friend," June 11, 2012

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