Man dies of injuries from fight with mate


Published: Saturday, January 7, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 6, 2006 at 11:52 p.m.
A Gainesville man was arrested Thursday after his partner died from injuries he received in a fight on New Year's Day.
Alachua County Sheriff's deputies charged David Paul Wallace, 28, Thursday with manslaughter in the death of Thomas R. Tamez, 43.
Tamez suffered head injuries on Sunday and was hospitalized, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Steve Maynard. He underwent emergency surgery for severe blunt head trauma, but died Thursday.
Due to Tamez's injuries, Maynard said a physician at the North Florida Regional Medical Center first contacted officers after the man arrived at the hospital. Deputies questioned Wallace about how Tamez was hurt.
Investigators learned the two men were a couple and had lived together at 2218 SW 70th Terrace. The night Tamez was injured, the two had been in downtown Gainesville to celebrate New Year's Eve.
Wallace first told deputies that when they got home, Tamez tripped and struck his head in the front yard, Maynard said.
But evidence at the home didn't match Wallace's description of events. Deputies found evidence of a struggle in the yard and a broken gold chain belonging to Tamez.
Wallace eventually told officers the two had been involved in a fight.
"He stated he pushed the victim to the ground, and he struck his head," Maynard said.
Deputies initially charged Wallace with domestic aggravated battery. The charge was changed to manslaughter after Tamez's death.
Maynard said investigators don't know what started the fight but that it had been ongoing through the night. They also said alcohol was involved.
The two men had been living together for about a year, according to Tamez's family in North Carolina. Tamez came to Gainesville 16 years ago and had worked in restaurants. But he had been unemployed for the past few months.
Wallace was being held without bond at the Alachua County jail Friday.
Lise Fisher can be reached at (352) 374-5092 or fisherl@gvillesun.com

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