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Joliet, Illinois, woman goes on trial for one-punch death

Bryan Alaspa's picture

A woman went on trial today for punching a man at a party in order for him to win a bet and that one punch ended in the death of the person being punched.

iffany Startz, 22, has been charged with reckless conduct and battery after the incident. She reportedly punched John Powell, 25, an up-and-coming Chicago-area rapper. According to witnesses, Powell had placed a $5 bet with a friend that he could take a punch in the face and he reportedly told Startz to punch him while at a party last September in 2010.

According to media reports, Startz then punched Powell in the face. However, medical personnel say that one punch ruptured blood vessels, including an artery, in Powell’s neck. This caused blood to pool around his brain. He was dead just minutes after Startz administered the punch.

The man who made the bet with Powell is Jimmy Mounts, age 27. He was also supposed to go on trial on Monday, but reportedly copped a plea deal before the trial could start. He plead guilty to obstruction of justice and lying to police about the incident. For that he received a two-year conditional discharge.

Startz’s attorney has stated that the defendant did not commit a crime. He contends that it was all a terrible accident and that there was no intent involved.

The first step in the trial began Monday after a delay of a year. Startz’s attorney claims that the charges should be dropped since the punch was consensual.

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