Fight results in assault charge

Argument led to stabbing; victim later died of undetermined cause

Prosecutors filed first-degree assault charges Thursday against a man suspected of stabbing another man who died five days later.

Max Sadler, 58, also faces a sentence-enhancing crime-of-violence count in connection with the Jan. 29 stabbing of 32-year-old Douglas Bennett outside Sadler’s home.

Bennett died at his home Tuesday. Mesa County coroner’s officials performed an autopsy but are conducting additional tests to determine the cause and manner of his death.

Mesa County Chief Deputy Coroner Steve Stogsdill said Thursday there were no updates about Bennett’s death.

The fact prosecutors filed an assault charge, rather than a murder charge, against Sadler means authorities have yet to establish a direct link between the stabbing and Bennett’s death.

Sadler told police Bennett harassed him while the two were receiving a courtesy ride home from DJ’s Roadhouse, a local bar. A fight ensued after they exited the vehicle, and
Sadler admitted stabbing Bennett with a pocketknife but insisted it was in self-defense.

Bennett was taken to Community Hospital before being transferred to St. Mary’s Hospital.

Authorities have not said when he was released.

Sadler is scheduled to return to court Feb. 12.


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