PDT Staff Writer
A Portsmouth man has been charged in the death of another man in a weekend altercation. James E. “Eddie” Loper, Jr., 51, of Center Street, has officially been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Jonathan D. Clark, 44, of Mabert Road in Portsmouth.
Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said a fight occurred on Center Street in Portsmouth around 7 p.m. Sunday. Two people were involved in the altercation, but one of those then became involved in a fight with Clark who had been a bystander to the first fight. Clark reportedly suffered a severe head injury in that fight.
Ware said the police received a call from Clark’s residence that he was deteriorating. They responded to the residence and Clark was taken to Southern Ohio Medical Center and later flown to Grant Medical Center in Columbus where he died at 2 a.m. Monday.
On Monday, police arrested Loper on an unrelated charge, delaying charging him in the altercation death until an autopsy was done by the Franklin County Coroner’s Office. Detectives from the Portsmouth Police Department had gone to Columbus Tuesday to get the results of that autopsy.
“About 4 (p.m.) o’clock they got back and they made the arrest some time last night,” Captain Jerry Leach of the Portsmouth Police Department said.
Leach said Loper was scheduled to be in Portsmouth Municipal Court Wednesday morning for arraignment.
“Then they will set up for a preliminary hearing probably within the next five to seven days to determine whether to bound it over or send it to a grand jury,” Leach said.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.