News and Analysis

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 7:55 p.m.

U.S. Attorney’s office will not file charges in case of graduate student’s death

Patrick Casey. Photo courtesy of Stephen Atwood.

The U.S. Attorney’s office will not prosecute any individuals for graduate student Patrick Casey’s death following a fight in late September, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

“The U.S. Attorney’s office worked with the Metropolitan Police Department to thoroughly investigate the death of Patrick Casey and determined that there isn’t sufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges in the case,” spokesman Bill Miller said.

Casey, a 33-year-old Afghanistan war veteran who died of severe head trauma after falling to the ground when someone pushed or punched him, was likely drinking that night, police said in October. They also said he was “irritating” other patrons at the McDonald’s restaurant at 1916 M Street where the fight that led to his hospitalization broke out, but not necessarily instigating an altercation.

MPD began investigating Casey’s death as a homicide shortly after initially labeling the case a felony assault. The department’s spokeswoman, Gwendolyn Crump, declined to comment on the status of that investigation and referred all questions to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Miller said the office, working with MPD, interviewed witnesses and evaluated physical, documentary, photographic and video evidence before reaching a conclusion.

“Two law enforcement sources, who were not authorized to speak about the case, said the department has closed its investigation, classifying Casey’s death a ‘justifiable homicide by citizen,'” according to The Washington Post.

Casey came to D.C. in August a master’s student at the Elliott School of International Affairs. Friends and family described the 6-foot-4-inch Clifton Park, N.Y. native as “a big teddy bear.”

The University held a memorial service for Casey Oct. 6.

  • Anon

    For those wondering, “justifiable homicide by citizen” = self defense. Most have been some “irritation”.

  • Patricks Friend

    Is there a doctor in the house? Get real, his murderer came up from behind as the argument was ending and hit him in the head with a pipe. The pipe was two to three feet long, steel and weight around 5 pounds. The murderer was the one he floored in the restaurant. The local youths were vulgarly trash talking. He asked them to cool it. They vulgarly addressed one of the girls in reply and so it was on. The city youths feel they own the city, especially after dark. They feel a bunch of rich kids aught to thank them that they don’t get raped and killed more often. Because it was a local youth against a soldier the prosecutor knew he would never get a conviction, so rather than wasting all that money on a dead guy from out of town, they just covered it up. The restaurant and school got to most of Patrick’s friends who were there that night. Welcome to the New America!

  • Anon

    How much do you want to bet one of those local youths has a relative in the MPD or DC Gov’t? The reporting on this case has been incredibly vague and the DC attorneys office has swept it under the rug. A man died. Someone needs to be held accountable.

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