By Taylor Ellis
CHATTANOOGA / SAN FRANCISCO (UTC /AP) — Prosecutors have decided not to prosecute a man in the stabbing death of a Dodger’s fan during an altercation after a Los Angeles-San Francisco baseball game last year.
District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement Friday that prosecutors wouldn’t file charges against Michael Montgomery because they didn’t believe they had enough evidence to prove that Montgomery didn’t act in self-defense when he killed Jonathan Denver on Sept. 25.
“While it is not clear how the fatal encounter started, what the evidence shows was a physical confrontation between the victim, the victim’s brother and Mr. Montgomery,” Gascon said. “The totality of the evidence revealed that during the physical confrontation, Mr. Denver punched Mr. Montgomery.”
At about the same time, Gascon said, Denver’s brother struck Montgomery in the head with a collapsible aluminum chair, and Montgomery then inflicted a single fatal stab wound.
Denver and his brother outweighed Mr. Montgomery by 50 and 100 pounds, respectively, Gascon added. Witnesses have corroborated this version of events.
“With multiple sources indicating how the event transpired, it makes it impossible for us to meet our burden and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Montgomery was not acting in self-defense,” Gascon said. “We are ethically obligated to decline to prosecute this case.”
The stabbing was the latest incident over the years stemming from one of the most passionate rivalries in sports. Nearly three years ago, Giants fan Bryan Stow suffered permanent brain damage when he was attacked in Los Angeles.
Police have said Denver and his group, many wearing Dodgers garb, got into a shouting match over the Dodgers with Montgomery and his group — at least one of whom was wearing a Giants cap — a few blocks from the stadium.
Montgomery’s father said his son was jumped and stabbed Denver in self-defense after they yelled “Giants suck.”
Denver’s brother disputed that Montgomery acted in self-defense.
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