April 14, 2010, 12:39PM
SPRINGFIELD – Lucas Allen pleaded innocent to murder Wednesday in the death of 25-year-old Francis Fasanelli.
Allen, 23, of 103 Santa Barbara St., was ordered held without right to bail by District Court Judge William J. Boyle.
Fasanelli, of Enfield, was beaten unconscious in an April 2 fight outside a Worthington Street bar and died Monday night.
Fasanelli had been at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield since shortly after he was found unconscious and unresponsive with a serious head injury at 1 a.m. April 2 outside the Fat Cat Bar & Grill, 232 Worthington St.
Assistant District Attorney Matthew D. Thomas said although Allen has no prior record, the seriousness of the charge warrants that he be held without right to bail.
He said the allegation is that Allen jumped a fence in order to fight with Fasanelli.
Defense lawyer John Ferrara asked that a bail be set at $50,000 surety. He said even if the prosecution can prove Allen was involved in a fight with Fasanelli the charge would more appropriately be manslaughter.
Ferrara said Allen’s mother, aunt, and friends were in the courtroom. Allen had no history of mental health problems or alcohol abuse and would not be a danger to the community, Ferrara said.
He said that a day after the fight, Allen and his mother called police and Allen voluntarily surrendered himself, which shows that he would not be a flight risk.
“This was an unusual circumstance,” Ferrara said, saying that there could have been a situation where a blow was struck but there was a “secondary impact” with the victim hitting his head.
A bindover hearing is scheduled for May 17.
Allen was originally charging him with assault and battery with intent to commit serious bodily injury.
Police obtained surveillance footage from cameras outside the bar that shows the start of the altercation between Fasanelli and Allen but not any exchange of blows.
Police said the investigation revealed that Fasanelli had apparently been denied entry into Fat Cat for a dress-code violation. At some point, he managed to sneak inside the bar’s outside courtyard through a fence, but was discovered and escorted outside.
He apparently tried to sneak in again, and at that point while still outside the bar he got into a verbal dispute with Allen that escalated into a fight.
Allen’s role in the incident and his connection to Fat Cat Bar & Grill was source of a dispute between the police and the lawyer representing the bar’s owners, Torcia & Sons Inc., and its president Michael Torcia, of East Longmeadow.
A police spokesman said Allen was employed as a bouncer at the Fat Cat bar at the time of the incident, but it was unclear if he was on duty at the time.
Lawyer Thomas Rooke said Allen had previously been employed as a bouncer at Fat Cat, but was not connected to the bar in any capacity at the time of the incident.
|Lucas Allen arraigned on murder charge|