Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fatal punch brings manslaughter count to Boise man

A Boise man is charged after Noah Hopper was killed this week while drinking in a park with friends.
Copyright: © 2009 Idaho Statesman

Joshua L. Luman is not a violent man, and whatever happened by the Julia Davis Park bandshell early Monday morning must have been an accident, his brother said Wednesday.
"(Joshua) is a really easygoing guy ... it's not like him to lose his temper at all," Adam Luman said. "I am sure he didn't mean to do anything ... I am sure he feels horrible about whatever happened."

Luman is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $500,000 bond after Boise police say he punched Noah Hopper in the face, which then caused Hopper to hit his head. Boise police say the impact of both blows likely led to his death.

Both men are 26.

Police said initially Luman would be charged with second-degree murder, but prosecutors charged Luman with the lesser offense of felony involuntary manslaughter in court Wednesday afternoon.
Adam Luman said his brother and Hopper, who went to high school together in Mountain Home and remained friends, went to a concert Sunday night. He said his brother didn't like to drink that much.
Luman had attended Boise State University as recently as this spring.
Ada County Coroner Erwin Sonnenberg has yet to release the cause and manner of death. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Police say that after the punch, Luman and another man the two were drinking with took Hopper to a Boise home. They later took him to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center around 5 p.m. Monday, after they were not able to get him to "wake up," according to police reports.
Hopper was pronounced dead at the hospital at 11:22 a.m. Tuesday.

A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 23. If found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, Luman could be sent to prison for up to 10 years.

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