Assault victim dies; alleged assailant faces homicide charges

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Adam McCloud of Stillwater died Thursday night at Regions Hospital in St. Paul from injuries he suffered in a Sept. 28 assault at a Stillwater restaurant.

Adam McCloud was taken off life support and died on Thursday night at a St. Paul hospital, days after another man allegedly punched McCloud at a Stillwater restaurant.

Hours later, the Washington County Attorney’s office announced Friday afternoon the filing of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter charges against the alleged assailant in the case, 22-year-old Eric Richard II of Stillwater.

The 29-year-old McCloud suffered serious injuries after Richard allegedly punched McCloud in the face and head following an argument over a spilled drink at Smalley’s Caribbean and Pirate Bar in downtown Stillwater Sept. 28.

A County Attorney’s Office news release said that after McCloud was punched, he fell and struck his head on the ground.

The release adds that McCloud suffered several skull fractures and intracranial bleeding, causing respiratory failure.

“That a death was caused over such a trivial thing as this is so tragic as to be beyond belief,” said County Attorney Pete Orput. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to this young victim’s family with the message that our office will do all that we can to bring justice to them.”

The family posted on McCloud’s Caring Bridge site Thursday morning:

“The candle vigil that we had for Adam has touched our family. Thank you for that gift. It’s a fitting honorarium for a light that has burned as brightly as Adam. Sadly, the doctors have made it clear that his fight is over and that soon that light will be extinguished.”

Family spokesman Larry Odebrecht noted on the Caring Bridge website that McCloud had a boyish spirit and extreme faith in others.

“I was struck last night that Adam was such a strong man but also kept some of the great things about being a boy. He never stopped loving playing in dirt, and built a company around his passion — leading his friends and his family along the way. We’ve also been struck by Adam’s willingness to believe audacious things about people. So many people have told us about his faith in them — faith that no others had in them — that has made all the difference in their lives.

We’ve all been so blessed by Adam’s BIG presence in our lives.  We will communicate via this site the time and place of a service where we can all be together to grieve.  We expect it will be early next week.”

Odebrecht added: “The family would like to thank Dr. Michael Kang and the staff of Regions Hospital for the care of Adam and us; for Sgt. Stender of the Stillwater Police Department (Stillwater residents can sleep well at night with a warrior like him standing sentry); Kelly Thaulwald and the staff at First State Bank, the staff of LifeSource; Pastor Rich of Bethlehem Lutheran of Bayport; and the pastors and staff of Eagle Brook Church (including Alyssa Mack, Tommy Tunes, and Sara Wade).”

The family has set up a fund to begin the Adam McCloud Foundation at the First State Bank and Trust in Bayport. Funds from the foundation will go towards charities, such as Toys for Tots, in McCloud’s name. For information, call 651-439-5195.

McCloud’s caringbridge site can be found at: