Fatal beating suspect says he was only a witness to the fight - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

Fatal beating suspect says he was only a witness to the fight

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William Joseph Connolly (Source: BCSO) William Joseph Connolly (Source: BCSO)
Boyd Harrelson and Nickolas Smith were charged in the fight. (Source: BCSO) Boyd Harrelson and Nickolas Smith were charged in the fight. (Source: BCSO)
Hartford Sellers (Source: Ashley Butler, relative) Hartford Sellers (Source: Ashley Butler, relative)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A man facing an assault charged in connection with a fatal baseball fight says he was only a witness.

William Joseph Connolly was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, but tells WECT.com that he was only a witness to the fight. He says that two groups of people were fighting with bats and other weapons and that he did not get hit or hit anyone else.

According to Connolly, he is the one that called 911. He says he went to the Sheriff's Office Monday to tell his side of the story, when detectives arrested and charged him.

The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office upgraded charges against Boyd Harrelson Jr. to include second degree murder after the incident last week.

According to the sheriff's office,  Harrelson Jr faces those charges after a fight with baseball bats against Hartford Talmage Sellers III

Sellers was found lying unresponsive in a driveway of a home on Farm Meadows Road in Leland January 1. He was taken to the hospital where he later died.

The victim's sister, Terry Sellers, tells WECT.com they are fully cooperating with detectives in this investigation. 

A memorial is scheduled for today. The funeral is tomorrow and is private. Sellers will be buried in a private graveyard. In lieu of flowers, they are asking for donations to be sent to Worthington Funeral Home in Chadbourn. 

The family issued the following statement to WECT.com.

"We are broken hearted that such an evil, malicious and senseless tragedy has happened to my brother. We are confident the person charged with murder is responsible for his death. We are in constant contact with the detectives and want to cooperate with their investigation. Sellers was not a violent person. He was kind and we are trying to deal with this the best we can," Terry Sellers said.

Detectives also arrested and charged Nickolas Smith in connection to the fight. Smith and Connolly are due in court February 28th.

Connolly and Smith were charged with assault with a deadly weapon. 

The case is still under investigation.

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