|For Immediate Release
Case # 08WF0891
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
BAR PATRON SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN PRISON FOR KILLING ANOTHER CUSTOMER IN BAR ON
ST. PATRICK’S DAY BY HITTING HIM WITH POOL CUE
SANTA ANA – A bar patron was sentenced today to four years in state prison for killing another customer in a bar by hitting him in the head with a pool cue. Richard Lee Thompson, 48, Lakewood, was found guilty by a jury on Jan. 13, 2010, of one felony count of involuntary manslaughter by unlawful act.
On March 17, 2008, Thompson started an argument over a beer with 44-year-old Steven Toole at Breaker’s Bar in Cypress. The victim pushed the defendant, who fell to the floor. When Thompson stood up, he grabbed a nearby pool cue and swung it at the victim, striking him one time in the head with the fat end of the cue. The victim immediately collapsed and was taken to the hospital. Toole was placed on life support and died the next day.
At the sentencing today, Toole’s girlfriend gave a victim impact statement, tearfully telling the court that they planned to spend the rest of their lives together, but because of a bar fight those future plans were taken away from her. Toole’s girlfriend’s daughter also gave a victim impact statement, telling the court that she lost her father figure. She explained that even though she is a teenager, Toole was always telling her to do the right thing, and she respected that.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.