A 20-year-old Casper man made his initial appearance in Albany County Circuit Court today for a charge of Second Degree Murder after a University of Wyoming student died from injuries sustained while attempting to break up a Halloween fight.

Dalton Williams stands accused of striking 21-year-old Joseph M. McGowan of Lander late on Friday, October 31. McGowan died at the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colo. shortly after noon on Saturday, November 1.

According to Laramie Police, McGowan was attempting to stop a fight when the fatal blow occurred.

“When he was in the process of breaking it up, he was struck,” said Commander Mitchell Cushman at the Laramie Police Department. “And then as a result of that strike, he ended up falling and incurring more damage.”

Commander Cushman said people quickly realized the injuries were serious, and McGowan was brought to the hospital soon after authorities arrived.

“During the course of that, he was life-flighted down to the Medical Center of the Rockies where he succumbed to his injuries,” added Cushman.

Williams has been released on a $100,000 signature bond, according to Commander Cushman. Circuit Court Judge Castor set the bond with the condition that Williams stay with his parents in Casper until he returns to court. Williams lives and works in Casper, and was visiting friends in Laramie when the incident occurred.

A preliminary hearing has been set for Williams on Wednesday, November 12 at 1 p.m.

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