A North Carolina man accused of using a cane and his fists to beat an Erie man who later died in October won't face more serious criminal charges as the case against him advances in court.
Erie police charged 50-year-old Anthony Mcrea with a first-degree felony count of aggravated assault, along with two misdemeanor counts and a summary offense. Police said the victim, 49-year-old Randolph M. Green, identified Mcrea as his attacker following the Oct. 10 incident at a Peach Street apartment house. Police filed the charges on Oct. 12.
Green died on Oct. 22. Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook on Oct. 25 ruled Green's death a homicide, telling the Erie Times-News that Green died of complications related to Tylenol overuse due to assaultive trauma.
The only new charge against Mcrea is a second-degree felony count of aggravated assault that prosecutors added prior to Mcrea's preliminary hearing on Thursday morning.
Mcrea waived his hearing and all of the charges to court Thursday.
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Assistant Erie County District Attorney Emily Downing, who is prosecuting the case, said Thursday that there would be insufficient evidence to meet her office's burden to prove a homicide charge in the case.
Downing said her office reviewed Green's medical records and spoke with his treating physicians. Although it was clear Green suffered serious injuries from the assault, his preexisting medical issues likely played a role in his death, Downing said.
Mcrea, of Burlington, North Carolina, remains in the Erie County Prison on $100,000 bond.
Victim said he was beaten with a cane after he asked suspect to leave
According to Erie police, Green told officers on the late evening of Oct. 11 that he was attacked by Mcrea on Oct. 10 at an apartment house in the 3100 block of Peach Street, where Green lived and where Mcrea was recently staying.
Green told the officers that after he told Mcrea he wasn't supposed to be on the property and needed to leave, Mcrea picked up an aluminum cane and struck Green in the face several times, according to information in Mcrea's criminal complaint.
Green said Mcrea then left the apartment, and when Green went outside to speak with him Mcrea hit him again, causing him to fall to the ground. Green said he was then kicked and "booted" by Mcrea, according to investigators.
Officers said they viewed injuries on Green that included a left eye that was swollen shut, bruising around his right eye and bruises on his neck and chest. Green told police he went to Saint Vincent Hospital on Oct. 11 and was told by a physician he had suffered an orbital fracture to his eye, according to information in the complaint.
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Green's mother, Helen Arnold, told the Erie Times-News in December that her son went out of his way to help homeless people in Erie, and had once helped Mcrea when he was homeless.
Contact Tim Hahn at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ETNhahn.
This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: N.C. man avoids homicide charge in Erie beating, faces assault counts