DA Delays Decision on Charges in Death of Dodger Fan

Police are asking anyone with video of Wednesday night's argument to call them

District Attorney George Gascon said he has asked police for more information before he makes a decision on whether to file charges in the fatal stabbing of a Los Angeles Dodgers fan that occurred near AT&T Park Wednesday night.

Police provided the district attorney's office with the results of an initial investigation today, but Gascon said not all witnesses have been interviewed. In particular, he noted that there were no interviews with independent witnesses.

Gascon said prosecutors need to be certain they can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt before proceeding. "Additionally, in California, it is the People's burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in lawful self-defense," Gascon said.

"It is vital for our office to have independent corroboration of the incident in order to meet our ethical obligation to charge this case."

Lodi resident Michael Montgomery, 21, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of fatally stabbing Jonathan Denver, 24, around 11:35 p.m. that evening near Third and Harrison streets.

Denver, who was wearing Dodgers clothing and whose father was a security guard for the team, was apparently stabbed after an argument related to the rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants, San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr said on Thursday.

He had been watching the Giants-Dodgers game with his father, brother and two others earlier in the evening but had left in the eighth inning to go to a bar. "My office extends its deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Jonathan Denver's family," Gascon said. "We are extremely concerned about the loss of life and want to make sure justice is served."

Gascon described ballpark security and fan violence as matters of great concern to him. "We have great sports venues and we'll do everything we can to make them safe," he said

The death of Denver, who worked as a plumber's apprentice for North Coast Plumbing, Heating & Sheet Metal Inc. in Fort Bragg, is the latest violent incident to mar the Giants-Dodgers rivalry.

In 2011, Giants fan Bryan Stow was beaten after the team's season opener at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and suffered severe brain injuries.

Two people have been charged in that beating and are awaiting trial. Gascon said that anyone with video of the incidents leading up to Wednesday night's stabbing should contact police immediately.

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