More witnesses come forward after man dies in local club fight

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Update: 8/19/2014 - 27-year-old Jeremy Rafford died after being hit one time in the face at a local club.

Witnesses at the club say the suspect, 32-year-old David Bales, was actually defending himself after Rafford licked his face.

Now other eyewitnesses are coming forward with a different story.

Jeremy Baxter, the DJ that night at the club, claims he saw the whole incident.

"I saw [Jeremy], the guy who got killed, leaning over the table.  I guess [Jeremy] had bumped the table cause something spilled and he said I'll buy you a drink, pay your tab, whatever.  There was no confrontation.  He was being nice," said Baxter.

Baxter says that is when Bales became violent.

"While I was walking away, David came straight up from the table and palmed him under the nose.  There was no self-defense, nothing on that...Jeremy did not touch him," claimed Baxter.

Police say the incident is still under investigation.


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OKLAHOMA CITY - The death of a local man has many people asking if it is a case of murder or self-defense.

Authorities say the victim, 27-year-old Jeremy Rafford, died after being hit one time in the face in a bar fight.

It happened at the Cove Club near SE 15th and I-35.

The alleged suspect is a former Marine and did not have a criminal history.

Witnesses at the club say the suspect was actually defending himself after being licked in the face by Rafford.

"I'm singing like 3 lines of my song and I hear crash, bang, boom," said Christina Woods.

Woods says the victim helped instigate the fight by licking the alleged suspect, 32-year-old David Bales, in the face.

"That's when David punched him one time and he hit the ground," said Woods.

"David hit him and next thing you know he's in jail for murder for basically defending himself," said Martin Hobbs.

Hobbs owns the property where fight took place.

He says after the fight, Bales left the club and went home.

However, he came back after hearing about the death.

"They called him up and said the guy passed away and he came back to talk to the cops and told them he was just drinking a beer and defending himself," said Hobbs.

"He was trying to defend himself because this guy was in his face," said Woods.

For their part, police can only say they're still investigating the circumstances of the fight.

Those at the club all sympathize with the victim's family, but say what happened is a clear case of self-defense.

"David was absolutely defending himself," said Hobbs.

"He didn't purposely kill this guy. It was self-defense. He was defending himself to someone who licked his face," said Woods.

The alleged suspect has not officially been charged with murder but remains in jail without bond.

Whether or not he's charged with murder or a lesser charge will be up to the district attorney to decide.


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