Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said Friday his office won’t file criminal charges in the March death of Lawrence resident Douglas Fleming.
Lawrence police officers found Fleming’s body at his Old West Lawrence home March 30. Fleming, 46, was involved in a fight with a 36-year-old homeless man two days earlier and had declined medical attention.
Officers initially arrested the 36-year-old man on an involuntary manslaughter charge, but he was released from jail after Branson’s office asked for more time to review.
“After an exhaustive review of investigative reports, recorded interviews, coroner reports and medical records, and finally a meeting with the coroner, there was insufficient facts to establish probable cause that a crime was committed,” Branson said in a statement.
Fleming called police on March 28 and said he was injured in the fight with the man, who had been staying at his home. Branson said Fleming told police he struck the acquaintance first and a fight ensued.
The 36-year-old man also told officers he was attacked by Fleming and had defended himself. When police were called to check at the house on March 30, they found Fleming’s body.
According to Lawrence police, Fleming died from a head injury.
Branson said his office didn’t have probable cause to file charges because Fleming admitted he was the initial aggressor and officials were unable to determine “what, if anything” happened to Fleming between March 28 and March 30.