Bradley Thomas Lewis, in jail since Aug. 14 on an assault charge for punching Chad Charles Campbell in downtown Brainerd, now faces a charge of felony murder.
Lewis, 25, Brainerd, is accused of punching Campbell in the head after Campbell had an argument with another man near South Seventh and Front streets. Lewis was initially charged with first-degree assault resulting in great bodily harm and third-degree assault resulting in substantial bodily harm.
Campbell, who suffered a serious head injury as a result of the punch, died Aug. 19 at St. Cloud Hospital. The preliminary autopsy listed Campbell's death a homicide due to injuries to his skull as a result of being struck.
With Campbell's death, Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan on Tuesday amended the criminal complaint against Lewis to include second-degree unintentional murder, first-degree manslaughter and second-degree manslaughter.
"We believe the charges are appropriate based on the facts and circumstances of the case as we know them at this time," Ryan said.
According to the amended criminal complaint filed against Lewis:
About 1:25 a.m. on Aug. 14, officers responded to a report of an assault at South Seventh and Front streets in downtown Brainerd. Officers learned Chad Campbell and another man were involved in an argument and as bystanders were attempting to separate the two, Lewis appeared. At some point Lewis took off his shirt and was trying to get at Campbell, who was calling Lewis names. Lewis was yelling at Campbell that he was going to hurt Campbell and "mess him up."
A witness told officers that Campbell asked Lewis why he was trying to hit him, explaining that Lewis had nothing to do with the argument. Witnesses said Campbell seemed like he did not want to fight and had his hands up in a defensive manner when Lewis ran around a group of people, struck Campbell one time on the side of the head knocking him to the ground and leaving him unconscious.
Campbell spent several days in the intensive care unit at St. Cloud Hospital in critical condition. He had suffered extensive brain damage and had been on a ventilator until his death.
Lewis is being held in the Crow Wing County jail on $1 million bond or bail without conditions and $500,000 bond or bail with conditions.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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