Man Dead, Friend Arrested After Altercation Over Beer

The victim's family identified him as Don O'Malley

One man is dead after an altercation over beer in Winchendon, Massachusetts, and his friend has been arrested.

Police arrived at a home around 7 p.m. Tuesday to find 32-year-old Don O'Malley unresponsive. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died.

"It was just a very unfortunate accident that happened here last night," said JoAnn Ilinitch, who said she is best friends with O'Malley's mom.

Ilintich says O'Malley and Thomas Maxwell were drinking behind a house on Spruce Avenue Tuesday evening.

"Donald had a few drinks and he started pushing around at Tom, and Tom said to him 'I'm not going to get into it,' sat him down to the ground and something happened," she said.

Maxwell appeared in court Wednesday. He is charged with aggravated assault and battery.

"From what it looks like now, this is just a tragic accident between two friends who were having an argument over apparently a beer," said Adam Narris, Maxwell's defense attorney.

O'Malley's family members say they want the charges against Maxwell dropped.

"When everything comes to court, the family is going to be going and asking for them not to press charges against Tom," Ilinitch said. "It is a very unfortunate thing that happened."

The investigation is ongoing.

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