A District Court judge in Las Vegas on Thursday dismissed the case against a mixed martial arts fighter who was charged after a June fight at a Strip hotel ended with his best friend’s death.
Judge Michael Villani dismissed the lone involuntary manslaughter count against Jason Sindelar, 26, based on "wishy-washy" testimony from a Clark County medical examiner who did not say with any certainty that the fight caused the death of Demario Reynolds Sr.
Medical examiner Alane Olson testified at an October preliminary hearing that Reynolds, a former UNLV football player, had lethal levels of Ecstasy, with cocaine and alcohol, in his system.
Olson testified that it was "possible" the fight with Sindelar might have caused a heart arrhythmia in Reynolds, 26, who suffered from high blood pressure.
Sindelar’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Andrea Luem, called Olson’s testimony "unbelievably speculative."
Olson also testified that she originally ruled Reynolds’ death an accident because of the drug overdose but changed it to homicide after consulting other medical examiners. Olson said the key to the change was how quickly Reynolds collapsed after fighting Sindelar.
"It’s significant because physical altercations have the potential to stimulate a person,” Olson testified. "It is possible the combination of those factors was enough to stimulate his heart into a arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, which was the cause of his collapse."
In describing Olson’s testimony, Villani said, "It’s a lot of ‘may have,’ ‘possible’ and ‘potential.’ That’s pretty wishy-washy."
Reynolds and Sindelar were best friends, having met at the Luxor, where both worked promoting clubs.
Authorities said the two fought after Reynolds tried to stop a fight between Sindelar and Sindelar’s girlfriend at a swingers party in a Luxor guest room bathroom at 4 a.m. on June 19.