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Teen Allegedly Slammed Head First Into Floor At Lowell House Party Dies

LOWELL (CBS/AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old Tewksbury boy apparently slammed head first into a concrete floor by an older teen at an underage drinking party has died.

The Middlesex district attorney's office says the boy died at the hospital Monday after suffering traumatic brain injuries during a fight in Lowell Friday.

Authorities say the victim stumbled into 18-year-old Joseph Zagarella, who allegedly responded by picking up the younger teen and slamming him down.

The victim was identified by the Lowell Sun as Ethan Costello.

Ethan Costello
Ethan Costello died from injuries suffered during a house party. (WBZ-TV)

Zagarella, of Tewksbury, was held on $10,000 bail after pleading not guilty Monday to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

The district attorney says the investigation is ongoing and charges may be upgraded.

Keren Goldenberg, Zagarella's defense attorney, says there are conflicting accounts about what happened, including that the victim fell and hit his head.

"There was no one being thrown to the ground. There was a push. It's an unspeakable tragedy," Goldenberg said in court. "The victim in this case fell to the floor and it seems that he hit his head."

joseph zagarella lowell teen beat to death
Joseph Zagarella in court Monday. (WBZ-TV)

According to the police report, Costello's friends carried him into the house on the property the party was being held. But the homeowner reportedly said "Get that kid out of here. I'm not dealing with drunk kids."

Friends eventually drove Costello to the hospital, but he did not survive.

Zagarella's uncle, Dave Stanizzi, said his nephew is grieving as well.

"He's feeling horrible too," Stanizzi said. "It's an unfortunate situation. We don't know the whole case."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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