A 32-year-old Port Tobacco man was beaten unconscious and later died after he tried to break up a fight between two women early Sunday in the parking lot of a Bel Alton bar, according to the Charles County Sheriff's Office.
James R. Aughinbaugh was trying to intervene in the 1:40 a.m. fight outside the Good Times Restaurant and Bar at 8120 Crain Hwy. when another bar-goer grabbed him, according to the sheriff's office. The fight occurred as patrons were leaving near closing time.
Investigators allege that Kevin Daniel Kiley, 24, of Waldorf struck Aughinbaugh, knocking him unconscious. Then, Kiley and two other bystanders -- Richard Lee Eckloff, 27, of Accokeek and Briana Dawn Washington, 24, of Waldorf -- began punching and kicking Aughinbaugh as he lay on the ground, the sheriff's office said.
"He really didn't have a chance to get away or defend himself," said Kristen Adkins, sheriff's office spokeswoman.
Kiley, Eckloff and Washington were arrested Monday and charged with first degree murder and first degree assault, according to the sheriff's office.
Aughinbaugh apparently knew one of the women fighting, and the three others knew the other woman, Adkins said. The two women involved in the original fight were not named by authorities because they are witnesses, Adkins said.
After the beating, Kiley, Eckloff and Washington fled in Washington's car, according to the charging documents.
Aughinbaugh was transported to Civista Medical Center in La Plata by ambulance and later flown to the MedStar Unit at Washington Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:15 p.m. Sunday, the sheriff's office said.
Aughinbaugh had suffered a brain hemorrhage, a head injury, two neck fractures and multiple facial fractures, abrasions and cuts, according to the charging documents.
During bond hearings for Washington and Eckloff in Charles County District Court on Tuesday, Judge Richard A. Cooper set bond for each at $100,000, said Charles County State's Attorney Leonard C. Collins Jr.
Eckloff posted bond and was released later that day, Adkins said. Washington and Kiley remained at the Charles County Detention Center in La Plata on Tuesday night, she said.
Preliminary hearings for Washington and Eckloff are set for Dec. 16, Collins said.
Kiley was scheduled for a bond hearing yesterday. If convicted, all three face up to life in prison, Collins said.
The death was the sixth homicide in the county this year, Adkins said. Arrests have been made in all six cases, she said.
Robert Aughinbaugh said his brother, who was known as "Jimmy," was a friendly man who enjoyed NASCAR and jet-skiing and was always looking out for others.
"He was happy-go-lucky," Robert Aughinbaugh said of his brother, who was single and worked as an electrician in Waldorf. "He was a good-hearted guy, always looking to help people and do what he could."
James Aughinbaugh was visiting Good Times Restaurant & Bar for the first time on the night of the fight, his brother said.
"It's sounds like he was just trying to do a good deed, and he paid the ultimate price for his good-heartedness," Robert Aughinbaugh said. "He led a simple but positive life. For him to go this way is just hard for all of us to understand."