Rathdrum man pleads guilty to manslaughter after fatal punch in downtown CDA

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- Rathdrum resident Tyler Finlay, the suspect in the death of 29-year-old Jeffrey Marfice, pleaded guilty to felony voluntary manslaughter Tuesday. 

Police say the victim died after Finlay punched him during an altercation in downtown Coeur d'Alene June 18. Marficewas knocked  to the ground, and struck his head on the pavement, causing a massive brain injury. He was taken to Kootenai Health for treatment, but died from his injuries the next day.

Finlay was initially charged with aggravated battery and admitted to detectives that he punched Marfice. The charge was upgraded to manslaughter after Marfice's death.

According to previous court documents, the fight was reportedly started when a group of men started harassing two women, one of whom was Marfice's girlfriend.  One of the men pushed Marfice's girlfriend and then Marfice stepped in. That is when he was punched in the back of the head and hit the ground, according to police records. 

Finlay is set for sentencing Jan. 30, 2018. Voluntary manslaughter is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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