OKC man dies after attack with baseball bat, alleged suspect claims self-defense

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A 29-year-old father dies after being assaulted with a baseball bat following a fight at a softball game over the weekend.

The victim, Ricky Betancur, had been hospitalized for the last several days with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

Friends say Betancur loved his family, sports and giving nicknames to friends.

Michael Clark said, "You know, he was nickname giver. I just remember him being full of life."

Chris McAlvain said, "He gave me a nickname Coach and it stuck."

Those friends are devastated by Betancur's death.

Last weekend, Betancur came to the diamonds at the Boomer Sports Complex to watch softball and got involved in a fight in the parking lot.

The suspect, 22-year-old Eric Noyola, allegedly admitted hitting Betancur in the head with a baseball bat.

However, one neighbor says Noyola told him he used the bat to protect himself.

Antwone Brown, the suspect's neighbor, said, "He said, 'I didn't mean to hit the dude in the head.' He was trying to get some separation between the people and himself."

Scott Adams, Noyola's attorney, said, "The truth is it was 100 percent self-defense with just with a tragic ending."

Adams says the suspect never intended to kill the victim.

Adams said, "I assure you when he was swinging the bat, he was thinking stay away and don't beat me."

Brown said, "He didn't want to fight those guys."

Betancur's friends say they'll let the legal system sort the issue out, while they mourn the loss of the young father and friend.

Alissa Stevens said, "He was a great guy, a great guy. There was no need for any of this at all."

The suspect and his brother were initially arrested for public drunkenness.

They have not been charged with murder.

That'll be up to the district attorney to decide if any further charges will be filed

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