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No charges filed against DJ in Rhinelander tavern death

RHINELANDER, WI (WTAQ) - No charges will be filed in the death of a man at a tavern in Rhinelander about an hour into the New Year.  

48-year-old James Tanner of Rhinelander died after his sternum broke and punctured his heart, when it was pushed onto the bar by a disc jockey who was trying to break up a fight.  

Oneida County District Attorney Michael Schiek said the 59-year-old DJ was not sure what Tanner would do next -- and that's why he gave Tanner a bear hug and moved him toward the bar area to restrain him.  

Schiek said there was a "one in a million" chance that Tanner's sternum would hit the bar the way it did -- and the DJ had no intention of killing the man.  

The prosecutor said he looked over the bar area, reviewed autopsy evidence, and conducted almost two dozen interviews before deciding he didn't have enough to convict the DJ of second-degree reckless homicide.  

Schiek said a final toxicology report is due in a few days, but it would not change the basic facts of what happened.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)