A mixed martial arts fighter originally charged with murder after fisticuffs resulted in his best friend's death will instead stand trial for involuntary manslaughter, a Las Vegas Justice of the Peace ruled.
Authorities said Jason Sindelar, 25, beat DeMario Reynolds Sr., 26, in June after he tried to stop a fight between Sindelar and his girlfriend in a Luxor hotel room.
The Clark County coroner's office determined Reynolds died as a result of an overdose of cocaine, Ecstasy, and alcohol.
Medical examiner Alane Olson testified at a preliminary hearing Monday, that Reynolds, a former UNLV football player, had lethal levels of Ecstasy in his system at the time of the scuffle.
The physical altercation was a contributing factor and the death was ruled a homicide, the coroner's office stated.
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure ruled Sindelar would have to stand trial on the involuntary manslaughter charge, but dismissed a second-degree murder charge that prosecutors had alleged.
Prosecutors originally filed an open murder complaint against Sindelar, making him eligible for a first-degree murder conviction and a stiffer penalty.
If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Sindelar could face probation or up to four years in prison.
Sindelar remained free on $50,000 bond. He's scheduled for arraignment in District Court on Oct. 19.
Reynolds and Sindelar were best friends, having met at the Luxor two years ago. Both worked promoting clubs in the hotel.
According to Sindelar's arrest report, Iman Aubrey, DeMario Reynolds' 43-year-old fiancée, told investigators Reynolds was trying to stop a fight between Sindelar and Sindelar's girlfriend in a hotel room bathroom at 4 a.m. on June 19.
Aubrey and other witnesses told police that Sindelar had grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and slapped her, which prompted Reynolds to grab Sindelar and pull him to the floor.
Witnesses said Reynolds told Sindelar he did not want to fight, and tried to calm the professional fighter.
The confrontation between the men continued in the master bedroom, where Sindelar hit Reynolds in the head and chest, witnesses said.
Sindelar left the suite but quickly returned and again beat Reynolds in the face and chest, and Reynolds was in a defensive position at that point, witnesses said.
Sindelar left a second time, and security was called. Reynolds was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Reynolds was a 6-foot-tall, 210-pound linebacker who last played for UNLV in 2005, according to the athletic department's website. He also played for Las Vegas High School.
According to a mixed martial arts website, Sindelar, a Las Vegas resident, had one professional fight in North Dakota in 2008 and four amateur fights.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039.