Austin man on trial, accused of shoving and killing alleged groper

Crime

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Witnesses started testifying Tuesday in the manslaughter case against Spencer Carlton, an Austin man accused of shoving a man during an altercation in downtown Austin, which ultimately led to his death. 

Carlton, 53, is accused of following Jerry Summers, 54, after he found out Summers had allegedly groped his wife and other women while they were at the Dogwood Bar on West Sixth Street on March 15, 2016. While Carlton didn’t know the man who was doing the groping, he decided to follow him out of the bar, according to an affidavit. Court documents indicate surveillance video from inside the bar showed Summers touching Carlton’s wife’s chest as he walked by.

When Carlton caught up to Summers in the 500 block of West Avenue, he said “he shoved Summers in the chest with both hands. Summers fell backwards and his head struck the ground.” Police say the fall rendered Summers unconscious. A friend of Summers told police “the force with which this gentleman [Carlton] plowed through my friend-JD-it made JD literally sail backwards.” Summers died from his injuries a few days later. 

When police spoke to Spencer at the scene, he appeared to be in shock and said Summers was “very intoxicated,” according to the affidavit.

During the trial, the defense said immediately after the physical altercation, Carlton said “I’m sorry” and “wake up” to the victim. One witness testified Carlton was “quite scared or fearful of what he had done.” 

The case is being tried by judge instead of a jury. 

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