The death of a Vermont man from blows incurred during an informal boxing match is a murder, but not necessarily a crime, according to police.
Hours after Ryan Murphy strapped on a pair of boxing gloves and sparred with a friend early Sunday morning, the 29-year-old man lost consciousness and was found not breathing and not responding, Burlington Police press release said.
He died a few hours later, despite the efforts of friends, the police and the emergency services to resuscitate him.
“When an MMA fighter hits a MMA fighter in a consensual boxing match with boxing gloves, among friends, and he then dies from that, it is a murder, but it doesn’t mean that it is a crime,” Burlington police chief Brandon del Pozo told the Burlington Free Press Wednesday afternoon.
The police have not released the name of the person who sparred with Murphy.
The cause of death was listed as brain injuries due to blunt impact to the head, the newspaper.
The researchers have not determined whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in Murphy’s death, and looked on his mobile phone videos taken of the spectators.
“I think we have reasons to believe that this can be an instance of the successive concussive injuries that had an escalating effect,” the head of the police said. “That is an important public health message.”
“Mens rea” is a legal term used by the justice to make a distinction between someone who does not want to say, to commit a crime and someone who knowingly set out to commit a crime.
“The question is, are we treating this as a crime, and in so far as the evidence, refer to, away from that direction,” del Pozo said.