The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Struggle not primary cause of man's death

EVERETT -- A man who collapsed after a struggle with his girlfriend in south Everett in January died from health problems, officials said last week.
The Jan. 12 struggle may have contributed to Richard Balch's death, but it wasn't the primary cause, according to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office.
Balch, 51, of Auburn, died from acute alcohol intoxication, the medical examiner's office determined. Contributing factors included heart disease, liver disease and possible asphyxia.
Police have been investigating the case as a potential manslaughter. They were called to the girlfriend's mobile home off Highway 99 after Balch became unresponsive when the two got into an altercation.
Multiple people at the home had been drinking heavily and smoking marijuana, according to police reports. Witnesses gave detectives conflicting stories about what happened.
Balch's manner of death remains undetermined, the medical examiner's office said. That indicates there was not enough information to make an exact medical ruling about the circumstances.
The case caught international attention after some Seattle media reported that Balch had been suffocated by his girlfriend's chest. There is nothing in the court papers to support that scenario.
The case remains under review by Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Travis Johnson. No charges have been filed.
Balch's girlfriend, 50, initially was arrested and booked for investigation of second-degree manslaughter. She was later released pending further investigation. The Herald is not naming the woman because she has not been charged with a crime.
The woman, whose blood-alcohol level later tested at nearly six times the legal limit after the struggle, reportedly told detectives she doesn't remember what happened.
A person can be found guilty of second-degree manslaughter when they cause a person's death as a result of criminal negligence.
Reporter Diana Hefley contributed to this story.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com

Story tags » EverettCrimePolice

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

HeraldNet highlights

'The Pinterest of beer'
'The Pinterest of beer': Lynnwood man's iPhone app tracks the beers you drink
Your photos
Your photos: A selection of our favorite reader-submitted photos
Tulips in bloom
Tulips in bloom: Photo gallery: A rainbow of color in Skagit County
He was a devoted family man
He was a devoted family man: Stephen Neal was working in a home when the mudslide hit