Portsmouth bar beating case ruled homicide

Posted July 01, 2013, at 11:56 a.m.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The state’s chief medical examiner has determined that a 24-year-old man who died after suffering a beating at The Page Restaurant & Bar in Portsmouth earlier this year was the victim of a homicide.

Joshua Krantz, an Epping native and Dover resident, was struck in the back of the head and repeatedly punched while he was on the dance floor on the lower level of The Page on the morning of Saturday, April 6. Investigators say Krantz refused medical attention and returned home to his apartment, where he was later found dead by his roommates.

Portsmouth police announced Monday morning that the state’s medical examiner has officially determined that Krantz died of a homicide. The cause of his death was found to be a skull fracture that led to bleeding on the brain.

Zachary O’Neill, 24, of 12 New York St., Dover, has been charged with first-degree assault for allegedly beating Krantz. According to court documents, O’Neill told workers at The Page he assaulted Krantz because Krantz spilled a drink on him several hours earlier.

Prosecutors at the Rockingham County attorney’s office are now weighing to elevate the charges against O’Neill in light of the medical examiner’s ruling, according to Portsmouth Deputy Police Chief Corey Macdonald.

“As far as his charges, that is going to be the purview of the Rockingham County attorney’s office to decide, in light of the totality of the circumstances, whether to upgrade charges or to make any changes,” he said.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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