A small house party turned deadly Saturday night for 19-year-old Pasco County resident Samuel Smith, an aspiring mixed martial artist who witnesses say was beaten to death by a red-haired partygoer after Smith called him a "ginger" and told him he had "weak knees," according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Tensions were rising between Smith and 27-year-old Richard Starks Jr. at the Zephyrhills party, so friends decided to organize a rumble. But before it could happen, witnesses reported, Starks beat Smith to a pulp in a carport. Smith died at the hospital.
"They did want to fight each other," a witness said. "But to have somebody die over it is the last thing you'd ever expect."
Starks's father Rick said his son is "not a fighter... He's never been a fighter," but the Times was quick to point out that the nonfighter had been arrested on a battery charge nine years ago and had a domestic violence injunction against him. Starks was arrested several hours after the fight and charged with second-degree murder.
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