LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A northeast Kansas man who admitted hitting an Iraq War veteran with a beer bottle during a house party brawl has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the man's death.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports a lawyer for 23-year-old Justin Gonzalez said she would appeal Thursday's conviction on the basis of jury instructions and excluded evidence.
Gonzalez, of Mission, testified he struck 27-year-old Nicholas Sardina at a Lawrence house party in February 2012. Gonzalez said he acted after Sardina punched one of his friends.
Prosecutors said Gonzalez used excessive force in striking Sardina, who later died from his injury.
Sardina, originally from Clarence, New York, was a sergeant in the Kansas National Guard and had served three tours in Iraq. He had also taken classes at the University of Kansas.