Prosecutor's letter says bar fight death 'self-defense'

Nicholas Wren

The Marion County Prosecuting Attorney's Office will not press charges against a man involved in a fatal scuffle at a Hannibal bar earlier this year.

Jim Miller, 52, was involved in a March 31 incident with a patron at Ole Milt's Bar at 217 S. Main St. He died the following day at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Ill. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

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He had injuries sustained to the front part of the head, Adams County Coroner Jim Keller said.

The fatal blow wasn't the result of Miller falling to the ground, but rather to a punch to the head, Keller said.

In the letter dated June 7, prosecuting Attorney Tom Redington told Miller's fiancée Sue Epperson that statements gathered from witnesses indicate that Nicholas Wren of Moscow Mills acted in self defense.

â??I have carefully reviewed all of the evidence gathered by the Hannibal Police Department,â?? he wrote. "Based on the investigation, I will not be able to file criminal charges against Mr. Wren.â??

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Lt. John Zerbonia of the Hannibal Police Department said that his department forwarded all of the details of its investigation to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office which declined to press charges. Calls to Redington's office were not returned Tuesday.

Wren, 30, of Moscow Mills, is also charged in an ongoing case that alleges that he held his 60-year-old father at gunpoint during an Aug. 27, 2012 incident.

Police reported that Wren put a gun to his head and turned the gun to his father's head before throwing it in the yard of his father's Lincoln County home. Wren then grabbed his father and began punching him before he was contained by other people until police arrived.

He's charged with elder abuse, domestic assault and felony restraint. His trial in that case is scheduled for Oct. 21.