Three more charged in St. Martin fight

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 4/4/01.

Three more people were charged in the September fight at a St. Martin bar that resulted in the death of Robert Northway III of Richmond.

Charged with misdemeanors of fifth degree assault and disorderly conduct were Cory Lemke, 22, of Richmond, Jesse Thelen, 30, of Albany, and Doug Salzl, 39, of Paynesville.

The three men made their first court appearance on Thursday, March 29, in Stearns County District Court.

Previously charged in the fight were Northway's brother, Bryan, with second degree assault and disorderly conduct, and Fred Doubek, Richmond, with second degree manslaughter, disorderly conduct, and two counts of fifth-degree assault.

Bob Stoneburner, a Paynesville attorney, represents Doubek, Salzl, and Thelen. He said the locals were defending themselves against the Northway brothers.

From the court reports he has read, Stoneburner said there was trouble in the bar near closing time. The Northway brothers were asked to leave by the bartender of Doochies Bad Company Bar.

The local men were in another area of the bar, but escorted the Northways out to their pickup. The Northways were asked to leave peaceably, Stoneburner said the court documents will show.

Upon reaching their truck, one of the brothers picked up a tire jack, Stoneburner said, and approached the group of men, a fight ensued.

Stoneburner said his understanding was that the local men disarmed the brothers and restrained them until the sheriff's deputies arrived. It wasn't until after the two men were handcuffed, that they discovered Robert Northway wasn't breathing. An autopsy stated Northway died of asphyxiation due to external compression.

Lemke will make his next court appearance on Monday, April 9. Salzl's and Thelen's next appearance is on May 11. Northway's next court date is on Friday, April 27. Doubek's is set for May 14.

Fifth degree assault carries a misdemeanor penalty of $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

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