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Police: Man Died From Violent “Party Game”

(Matthew Mallett/Getty Images)

(Matthew Mallett/Getty Images)

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CREST HILL (CBS/STMW) – Two people have been charged with reckless conduct after a 27-year-old man died following a violent “party game” in southwest suburban Crest Hill.

Police said Jimmy Mounts, 27, of Romeoville, attended a garage party in Crest Hill on Sept. 25, when he offered other guests $5 if they could take a punch from Tiffany Startz, 21, of Joliet.

John A. Powell, 25, who was 5-foot-8 and weighed 140 pounds, took Mounts’ bet and let Startz — 5-foot-5, 142 pounds — punch him in the face.

Witnesses told police Startz swung and hit Powell once in the face. He collected his money from Mounts and continued talking and interacting with others for a few minutes before he collapsed, police said.

He was rushed to Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room at 9:47 p.m.

Will County Coroner Patrick O’Neil said Powell died of a brain hemorrhage caused by blunt-force trauma. Medical reports indicate a vein in Powell’s neck opened up when his head snapped back and led to the brain injury.

“Initially there were conflicting reports from the witnesses about what had happened,” Crest Hill Police Chief Dwayne Wilkerson said. “But further investigation the night of the party found out about the bet.”

Powell was employed by E.H. Lynn Industries. A rapper and recording artist, he was known as “Fatboy” with the group Krazy Killas.

Will County state’s attorney’s spokesman Charles Pelkie said after reviewing the evidence prosecutors decided to charge Mounts and Startz with reckless conduct, a felony that carries penalties of up to three years in prison.

O’Neil last week ruled Powell’s death a homicide, noting on the death certificate he died “as the result of a party game.”

Startz turned herself in to police Dec. 28 before she was released on $10,000 bail. Mounts was arrested Monday and released on $5,000 bail.