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Concert brawl suspect appears in court

Batavia, N.Y.-- Craig Lawson, of Ontario, Canada, appeared in Genesee County Court Wednesday afternoon. Lawson is accused of punching Erie County native, Jason McNeil, in the face at the Kid Rock concert at Darien Lake in July.

According to investigators, the near-fatal blow knocked McNeil unconscious and put the 43-year-old in a coma for about two months.

Lawson pled not guilty to the felony assault charges. His bail was set at $10,000 and if not paid by Thursday, it will be revoked.

In July, Lawson was released on $1,000 bail after being charged with a misdemeanor but now faces more serious charges. The Genesee Countys District Attorney increased charges from third to second-degree assault.

Lawsons attorney, State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer said, This is a one punch situation and the guy fell down and hit himself on the pavement.

Ranzenhofer said he questions how the prosecution can prove assault in the second degree when only one punch was thrown.

I dont think anything was intended here and I think thats pretty clear, said Ranzenhofer.

Assault in the second degree is most commonly charged when a person intentionally causes serious physical injury or causes injury with a weapon.

The felony charge carries a possible prison sentence of two to seven years, Lawsons trial is scheduled to start in November.

McNeil is still in very serious condition but family members posted on Facebook and he is improving and expected to survive.

 
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