Dispute leads to death, charges

Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Kenai man became so angry with his mother's and his mother's boyfriend's drunkenness on June 18 that he allegedly started a fight with the boyfriend -- a fight resulting in the boyfriend's death.

Robert Charles Dedrick Jr., 23, pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide at an arraignment hearing in Kenai's superior court Tuesday afternoon.

At about 1:30 a.m. on June 19, Teresa Dedrick, 49, called the Kenai Police Department saying her boyfriend was bleeding from his mouth, nose and left ear after he got into a fight with Dedrick's son, Robert, according to police.

Mickey Griffin, Teresa Dedrick's boyfriend, was life-flighted to Providence Hospital in Anchorage, but he was pronounced dead later that day, according to police. Griffin's blood thinner medication reportedly made the injuries more severe.

Dedrick told police that her son hit Griffin, 49, twice in the head. Robert Dedrick was reportedly angry with his mother's and Griffin's level of intoxication and "the potential problems it was going to cause," according to police investigation. Robert Dedrick then allegedly followed Griffin to the upstairs bedroom and hit Griffin again, Teresa Dedrick told police.

Robert Dedrick told police that Griffin attacked him, not vice versa. Dedrick admitted to hitting Griffin, but he denied following Griffin upstairs, according to police. Robert Dedrick told investigators he had a back injury and would not have been able to fight Griffin.

Sgt. Scott McBride, of the Kenai Police Department, said Dedrick has not been charged with murder because the death did not appear premeditated.

"Murder has malice aforethought. You had a chance to think about it and it's planned out a little bit," McBride said. "Criminally negligent homicide is you did something stupid and you caused somebody to die."

Andrew Waite can be reached at andrew.waite@peninsulaclarion.com.

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