Former Marine Sentenced for Role in Virginia Man's Punching Death

Prosecutors say Erik Czajkowski punched another man in the face outside a Radford, Va., restaurant, causing Duncan to fall back onto the sidewalk and suffer severe head trauma

Friday, Jul 26, 2013  |  Updated 8:10 AM EDT
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A former Marine who punched another man in August 2011 in Radford, Va., was sentenced Thursday to one year and six months in prison for his role in that man's death.

Erik Czajkowski, 26, was sentenced in connection with the death of 39-year-old Michael Allen Duncan. Prosecutors say that on the night of Aug. 19, 2011, Czajkowski punched Duncan in the face outside a Radford restaurant after the two had an altercation.

The impact caused Duncan to fall back onto the sidewalk and suffer severe head trauma, they said.

Czajkowski left the scene, but police later identified him from witness descriptions and from a receipt that placed Czajkowski at the scene, the Roanoke Times reported

Duncan was taken to a local hospital and then airlifted to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. He never regained consciousness and was on a ventilator when he died three days later.

Czajkowski, a former Radford University student, was originally scheduled to have a two-day jury trial for second-degree murder and aggravated malicious wounding charges.

Instead, Czajkowski pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter and unlawful wounding, the Roanoke Times reported.

Before being sentenced, Czajkowski told Duncan's family and friends that he was "so deeply sorry."

"I will live with it for the rest of my life," he said. "I’m very remorseful that you are all here suffering.”

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