Todd Michael Dauses, 50, of Bel Air, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the Circuit Court of Carroll County after assaulting 43-year-old Raymond Banz, of Reisterstown, who ultimately died from his injuries.
According to a news release from the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office, the two men were at a holiday party in the 2700 block of Coon Club Road on Dec. 22, just outside of Hampstead.
Banz was asked to leave the party but refused and Dauses assaulted him. Banz died the next day as a result of those injuries. There was no evidence Dauses intended to cause Banz’s death.
Judge Maria Oesterreicher sentenced Dauses to 10 years incarceration, with all but 18 months suspended, to be served at the Carroll County Detention Center as part of a binding plea agreement.
According to the release, Banz became intoxicated during the party and was asked to leave at about 1 a.m. He refused, passively, sitting on the floor. In response, Dauses punched him multiple times in the face and stomped on his abdomen.
A friend of Banz drove him home that night. The next afternoon, Dec. 23 at about noon, a friend checked on Banz and found him to be lying on the floor. He was alive and responsive and refused medical treatment at that time, according to the release.
The same friend returned that night at about 9 p.m. after not hearing from him, according to the release. He was deceased.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Banz’s death a homicide, caused by blunt force injuries following an autopsy, according to the release.
In a victim impact statement during the sentencing hearing on Monday, Aug. 19, Banz’s mother, Charleen Kramer gave a victim impact statement, “I hold no anger in my heart toward you. I forgive you totally. Neither one of you were at your best that night. A decision that was made that night ... tore two families apart," according to the release.
According to the release, prosecutors consulted Banz’s family regarding the plea agreement they presented to Dauses.
Before sentencing, Oesterreicher said to Dauses, “This incident was someone’s words, words alone, which affected your ability to control yourself,” according to the release.
Dauses was represented by attorney Brian Garrett Thompson, who said that the plea hearing was a very sad and thoughtful day for both families. He said Kramer’s statement about her son was eloquent and moving.
When the fight occurred, “Nobody expected it would end in this tragic result,” Thompson said.
Dauses chose to accept the plea deal because a trial meant the potential that he could have been found guilty of first-degree assault, a felony charge with a longer jail sentence, Thompson said. He characterized the prosecution’s treatment of his client as fair and thoughtful. Even so, spending 18 months away from his family will be personally and financially difficult.
“As a human being, he just feels terrible,” Thompson said. As a trained paramedic, “This is the furthest thing from anything he ever thought he’d be involved in.”
Carroll County State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo thanked the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office who investigated the case and Deputy State’s Attorney Allan Culver and Special Counsel Cara Frieman who prosecuted it.