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No charges for teen who fatally punched another as part of agreement

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EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Snohomish County prosecutors say they won’t file criminal charges against an 18-year-old who reportedly punched another teen to settle a party dispute.

That single blow on Dec. 21 killed 18-year Jarom Thomas, and Michael Galen was initially arrested for investigation of second-degree manslaughter.

Deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson told the Daily Herald newspaper Thursday that it wasn’t intentional homicide. He says it would have been difficult to prove negligence or recklessness.

Authorities say the two teens got into a fight following a minor vehicle collision outside a party. In court papers, detectives say a witness reports the two shook hands and smoked a cigarette together before the punch was thrown. Police say the victim fell backward, hitting his head on pavement. A friend took the unconscious teen to a hospital, where he died.

Both teens attended Crossroads High School in Granite Falls.

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