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Cohasset Man Charged With Manslaughter In Brother-In-Law's Death

COHASSET (CBS) — A Cohasset man was released on $50,000 cash bail Wednesday, charged in the death of his brother-in-law.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karen Twomey reports


John McDonough
John McDonough in Quincy District Court.

Forty-five-year-old John McDonough pleaded not guilty to manslaughter at his arraignment in Quincy District Court.

Prosecutors say he killed his brother-in-law, 45-year-old David Hoelzer of Dennis, during a birthday party for Hoelzer at McDonough's King Street home in the affluent suburb Tuesday night.

"The alleged victim got out of control, became violent, and, unfortunately, he had to be subdued and it was a tragedy," McDonough's attorney Rob Harnais told reporters Wednesday.

Witnesses told police Hoelzer began drinking and swearing.

A source told WBZ-TV's Bill Shields Hoelzer became violent and even threatened a neighbor.

McDonough managed to get Hoelzer back inside the home, but there was an altercation and Hoelzer was unresponsive after the struggle.

Police were called. Hoelzer was rushed to South Shore Hospital where he died just before 10 p.m.

Harnais would not comment on reports his client put Hoelzer in a headlock, saying the facts will come out soon enough.

"It was an unfortunate incident, an unfortunate tragedy," he said.

Shields reported that Hoelzer may have been bi-polar and had a history of violence within his own family.

A source told him Hoelzer died from a heart attack or asphyxiation during the confrontation.

McDonough's family helped found Eastern Mountain Sports.  He is also a former executive at the Rugged Bear children's clothing chain.


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