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Rhode Island men accused of assault in fight that cost Patriots fan his life plead not guilty

Two football fans charged in the brawl at a Patriots game that claimed the life of 53-year-old Dale Mooney have both pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and assault and battery.

Justin Mitchell, 39, denied the charges in Wrentham District Court on Friday, a week after his co-accused John Vieira, 59, did the same.

“Of course I'm innocent,” Vieira told reporters as he left the courtroom. According to CBS News.

Mitchell was ordered to stay away from Gillette Stadium on Friday, as were Mooney's family and potential witnesses.

Both men, from Warwick, Rhode Island, are accused of punching Mooney in the head, which was partially caught on video during a Sept. 17 game between the Patriots and the Miami Dolphins.

Mr. Mooney collapsed and died, and the Norfolk District Attorney's Office ruled his death a homicide.

But a review of available evidence, including autopsy results and multiple videos, did not establish a basis for murder charges against Mitchell and Vieira, District Attorney Michael Morrissey said.


Dale Mooney was killed in a scuffle during a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium. NBC Boston

Police said Mooney was involved in a verbal confrontation with Mitchell, who was wearing a Dolphins jersey, and another member of his group, George Chiarillo, 39.

Witnesses said Mooney “wanted a fight” and was “trying to talk Mitchell into fighting” before he died, according to the police report. Obtained by Boston Globe.


John Vieira, 59, and Justin Mitchell, 39, were charged with assault, battery and disorderly conduct stemming from the fight.
John Vieira, 59, and Justin Mitchell, 39, were charged with assault, battery and disorderly conduct stemming from the fight. NBC Boston

The report said Vieira intervened a short time later and was seen delivering a “single punch” to Mr Mooney's head, noting that it appeared to be just a “single blow”.

Mooney's cause of death is listed as “possible arrhythmia during a physical altercation in a person with severe hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.”

with post wire

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