One punch death: Man pleads not guilty in bar fight

    Christopher Barry (Winnebago Co. Jail)

    OSHKOSH (WLUK) – The man who allegedly punched a man in a dispute about $18 – causing the man’s death – pleaded not guilty Thursday.

    Christopher Barry, 34, faces one count of aggravated battery for allegedly punching Steven Mallas once on Oct. 7. He died five days later from the blow to the face, the criminal complaint states.

    At Thursday’s arraignment, trial was scheduled for Feb. 5, according to the Clerk of Courts office.

    According to the complaint, a friend of Mallas’ followed him out of the Boots Saloon in the early morning hours of Oct. 7, after a claim Mallas took $18 from the bar owner’s brother. As they were walking down the street, “Barry drove a white van up to the middle of the street, got out, walked past her, and punched Mallas in the face,” the complaint states.

    “After Barry punched Mallas, Mallas fell to the ground and then Mallas pulled out his wallet and gave it to her stated that he didn’t have the money taken from the bar. (The friend) stated that she looked in the wallet and saw $4 so she took it and gave it back to the bar owner’s brother,” the complaint says.

    Barry denied being in a fight with anyone, although an officer observed “what appeared to be dried blood on Barry’s fingers,” the complaint says.

    The complaint says Mallas suffered a broken jaw that had to be wired shut.

    “Mallas suffered from edema into his chest area and he had bronchial pneumonia. Detective Petit reports that Dr. Kelley stated that there was also swelling and infection due to the broken jaw. Dr. Kelley stated that pending toxicology, Mallas’ death stems from the broken jaw,” according to the complaint.

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