Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
January 6, 2010
Susan Kang Schroeder
TRIAL TO BEGIN FOR MAN CHARGED WITH KILLING MAN IN BAR ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY BY
HITTING HIM WITH POOL CUE
SANTA ANA – A man faces trial tomorrow for killing a man in a bar by hitting him in the head with a pool cue. Richard Lee Thompson, 48, Lakewood, is charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter by unlawful act and faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison if convicted. Opening statements in Thompson’s jury trial are expected to begin tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010, in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. Time is to be determined.
On March 17, 2008, Thompson is accused of starting 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 is accused of grabbing a nearby pool cue and swinging 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.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.