Two Missouri men are facing murder charges in the death of an Air Force veteran who succumbed to injuries he sustained during a fight outside a bar, prosecutors said.
Devin Dodson, 24, of Wentzville, and Deangelo Williams, 30, of St. Louis, were charged Monday by the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with second-degree murder in the death of Chaise Dunlap, a 27-year-old vet who had been on life support after the fight early Saturday outside a bar in Wentzville, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Dunlap’s mother, Cresent Dunlap, told the newspaper Monday her son died from severe head trauma after being assaulted outside the Lava Lounge Hookah and Bar, where several fights broke out earlier that evening, according to charging documents obtained by the newspaper.
“We were told by police that there was a fight inside the bar,” Cresent Dunlap told KMOV. “My son was trying to break up the original fight. My son wasn’t in the original fight but wound up getting in a scuffle. One of the guys hit him in the head.”
Charging documents show Williams was walking to his car when Dunlap followed him while yelling racial slurs. Williams told investigators he then punched Dunlap before going to his girlfriend’s car to grab a vehicle jack from the trunk, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Williams said he spotted Dodson fighting with Dunlap on the ground, and claimed he hit the vet in the head and neck with the jack — in an effort to break up the fight, court documents show.
But video of the scuffle showed Williams hitting Dunlap two times after he was already knocked unconscious, police said.
Investigators later found a vehicle jack from the car of Williams’ girlfriend that appeared to have blood on it, court documents show.
Dodson and Williams, who were arrested at the scene, saw their initial charges of assault upgraded after Dunlap’s death, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Williams was also charged with armed criminal action.
Dunlap, who lived in Old Monroe after leaving the military in 2017, had worked at Boeing and is survived by a 4-year-old daughter, his mother told the newspaper.
“He was just a great guy,” Cresent Dunlap said. “He liked to hunt and fish. He was kindhearted.”
Dunlap died early Sunday, relatives told KMOV. An online fundraiser set up to help offset funeral costs had eclipsed $2,300 as of Tuesday.
“Chaise Dunlap lost his life being the person he was raised to be, standing up for what is right,” the website reads. “On that night Chaise stepped in and stood up for a woman that was being harassed, a woman he didn’t even know. That is simply Chaise Dunlap, respectful, honorable and brave.”