Pastor arrested after fight leads to man's death

Pastor arrested after fight leads to man's death
Published: 2014 June 09 12:41:29 (9610 Views)
Robert Cox, a youth pastor from California has been charged with murder after a fight with a Las Vegas man last year ultimately led to his death.

Cox was just passing through Sin City last June when he stopped for a late dinner with his church group en route to Texas.

There he encountered 55-year-old Link Ellingson.

A scuffle broke out in which Cox pushed Ellingson over, causing him to hit his head.

After a six-month coma, Ellingson died from brain haemorrhaging.

Now, police are holding the pastor responsible for his death even as members of his family and congregation maintain he was acting in self defence.

Cox, a pastor at The Place of Refuge church, was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on Tuesday on murder and fugitive from justice charges.

He's awaiting extradition to Nevada. An autopsy report said blunt head trauma from the fight was a significant contributing factor.

Cox was on a ministry trip to Texas with his wife and some church interns when they stopped at the Four Kegs pub on June 13, 2013.

Group members said they were in the parking lot when Ellingson approached, threatened them and assaulted them.



According to the witnesses, Cox grabbed the man and fell with him to the ground.

Ellingson hit his head on the pavement and went unconscious. When he died six months later at Summerlin Hospital, the coroner ruled the case a homicide.

According to a Las Vegas police report, Cox initially said he punched Ellingson in the face, but later described grabbing Ellingson's waist and falling to the ground with him. Cox's left ring finger was broken in the confrontation.

'There was no punch thrown. I can understand where that was implied because his finger was broken, but from the get go we said that the police report is false and we need to get it fixed,' Cox's wife, Julie, told the TV station.

Surveillance video showed Ellingson getting into a fight, but he leaves the frame for several seconds before he's seen stumbling back and falling, according to the report.
 
Detectives who reviewed the footage wrote that it doesn't appear someone fell to the ground with him.

'My husband was acting (in) total self-defense,' Mrs. Cox told KTXL. 'The attacker was huge. He was assaulting people in the group who were trying to intervene and get him to stop but he wouldn't stop. And that's when my husband grabbed him by the waist.'

One member of the church group claimed that five people were assaulted by Ellingson before Cox ever confronted him.

Family members said they were told no charges would be filed in the case, but they said a warrant was issued for Cox's arrest without his or his attorney's knowledge.

A letter posted on the church's website asks people to donate money to cover Cox's legal fees and to write letters vouching for his character.

An aide to Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he and a prosecutor assigned to the case were not available for comment Friday afternoon.




Source - DM

Tags: pastor, arrested,
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