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Charges are Filed, but Questions Remain in KC Chiefs Fan Death

On Dec. 1, the Kansas City Chiefs were playing the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Kyle Van Winkle was among those who went to the game. Unfortunately, the 30-year-old husband and father of a 7-week-old baby boy never made it home. He died after allegedly suffering a brutal beating at the hands of a man he didn’t even know.

Authorities announced late last month that they have finally charged a suspect in the attack. The 23-year-old suburban Kansas City man has been arraigned on a charge of first-degree involuntary manslaughter. At last word, he was being held on a cash-only bond of $75,000.

Some legal experts might suggest elements of the case indicate a wrongful death claim might be viably made in civil court. The only way to properly assess that question is through a direct consultation with an experienced attorney.

Prosecutors acknowledge that there are a lot of questions unanswered in Van Winkle’s death. Van Winkle’s father, a Grandview police sergeant, says one thing is certain — the death was senseless.

According to authorities, for unknown reasons, Van Winkle had gone to the parking lot during the game and gotten into a green Jeep. Some news reports say he apparently mistook the vehicle for the one he and others in his group had gone to the game in.

The actual owner of the vehicle reportedly found Van Winkle passed out in the passenger seat later. While he apparently tried to rouse Van Winkle, the vehicle’s son sought help from others and the suspect was said to be among those who responded.

Officials say a verbal argument between the suspect and Van Winkle began. They allege the suspect threw several punches, including some that were landed after Van Winkle was on the ground. The attacker left the scene and Van Winkle was discovered sometime later by security officers. He was taken to a hospital where he died. The cause of death was found to be blunt force trauma.

Van Winkle leaves behind a wife and son. A wrongful death claim, if successful, might serve to assure they are adequately compensated for the personal and economic losses they now are suffering because of this tragedy.

Source: ABC News, “Man Charged in Death of Fan at Arrowhead Stadium,” Bill Draper, The Associated Press, Feb. 21, 2014