A $5 Punch That Cost So Much More
By Chuck Sudo in News on May 27, 2011 9:05PM
On Sept. 25, 2010 guests at a party thrown by Jimmy Mounts of Romeoville were offered $5 by Mounts to take a punch from Tiffany Startz, whose tale of the tape reads 5-foot-5 and 142 pounds. John Powell (5-foot-8, 140 pounds) said, "okay," took the punch and the fin and went about his business.
What no one knew was that Startz's punch ruptured an artery in Powell's neck. He died of a brain hemorrhage caused by blunt force trauma.
A Will County judge today refused to dismiss reckless conduct and battery charges against Startz in connection with Powell's death. Startz's attorneys argued that Startz isn't a trained fighter, the punch was consensual and the entire incident was a party prank gone wrong. But Powell's mother, Theresa Guy, said Crest Hill police told her that no one at the party called 911 until they concocted a story to explain Powell's condition, and to allow underage drinkers to leave the scene. Guy also said police have cell phone video of the punch that shows the untrained Startz was able to knock her son back a few steps with her punch.
"I'm thanking God," she said outside court after the ruling. "I didn't want (Startz) to walk away from it." She still might in trial, but at least that's up to a judge and jury to decide. Will County judge Edward Burmila said Startz "can't walk away today."