The suspect arrested earlier this week in connection with a man’s death in the 800 block of Maine Street was released from the Douglas County Jail Friday pending further investigation, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said.
“We won’t make a charging decision until we’ve had an opportunity to get the finalized reports and meet with the coroner and talk to him about the injuries,” Branson said.
Lawrence police arrested the 36-year-old homeless man on a charge of involuntary manslaughter Wednesday afternoon, meaning prosecutors had until Friday afternoon to formally file charges to keep the suspect held in jail.
The man was arrested in connection with the death of 46-year-old Douglas Fleming after police found Fleming’s body at his Old West Lawrence home Tuesday. Police said the suspect got into a fight with Fleming on Sunday at Fleming’s home.
Officers were called to the 800 block of Maine to investigate that incident on Sunday night, and Fleming, at that time, declined medical treatment.
He did, however, tell police the name of the man who was involved in the altercation with him on Sunday.
When police were asked to check on Fleming on Tuesday, after he hadn’t shown up for work, officers found him dead inside his home.
An autopsy performed Wednesday showed Fleming died of a head injury, according to Lawrence police.
Branson’s office had reviewed information in the case trying to make a decision on formal charges. The suspect was originally expected to make a first appearance in court Friday afternoon. But he was released from the jail after Branson said his office wanted additional information and more time to review evidence and reports in the case.
The Journal-World generally does not name criminal suspects until they have been formally charged.