PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio -- A 27-year-old Bowling Green man pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence in the Labor Day beating death of a Cuyahoga County man, 25, at Put-in-Bay.
Murder, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault, and witness intimidation charges against Zachary Brody were dropped in the plea agreement in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court. He will be sentenced May 23 to up to 10 years on the manslaughter charge and up to three years on each of two tampering charges.
Phillip Masterson and Brody, both martial arts enthusiasts, fought early Sept. 5 after the bars closed on South Bass Island. Mr. Masterson's body was found about 3 p.m. the next day under a tarp in the woods near Island Club Cabin 90, where the fight began.
According to Brody's attorney, William Settina, witnesses said Mr. Masterson arrived at the cabin intoxicated and drinking from a whiskey bottle. Brody confronted Mr. Masterson and asked him to leave. Outside, Mr. Masterson threw the first punch, Mr. Settina said, and the two experienced combatants fought, with Mr. Masterson eventually dropping to the ground unconscious.
Mr. Masterson's mother reported him missing, and his brother found his body.