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Punch and fall killed father of 5 in downtown Las Vegas, coroner says

Both the punch and the fall to a downtown Las Vegas sidewalk killed 45-year-old father of five Luis Campos, the Clark County coroner confirmed Tuesday night.

Campos, of La Puente, California, died last week after he was struck once while waiting in line at Vanguard Lounge on Fremont Street early April 30. After the unprovoked punch, he collapsed unconscious to the ground, where he may have hit his head. Four days later, he was pronounced dead at University Medical Center.

“There’s no way to determine which of those two injuries contributed more than the other,” coroner John Fudenberg told the Las Vegas Review-Journal late Tuesday.

On Sunday, Las Vegas police charged James Beach, 27, with open murder in Campos’ death. Beach is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.

In 2008, court records show Beach pleaded guilty to charges of attempted murder and battery with a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm in connection with a separate brawl between two groups of men. He was sentenced to spend two to 10 years in state prison; he served five and was released in 2014, officials said.

On Monday, Beach’s lawyer, Gregory Knapp, said Beach “threw a hit and thought that would be the end of it.”

“He had no idea anything was wrong. Nothing, until it hit the news,” Knapp said. “He feels terrible.”

Fudenberg said single blows to the head can be deadly, whether it be from a punch or a fall, but there is no “exact formula” to predict a potential fatality because “there are so many variables involved in different scenarios.”

Campos was visiting Las Vegas for a brother’s bachelor party when the incident occurred. He was supposed to be the best man in the upcoming wedding.

“I just have a big, huge hole in my heart that’s never going to go away for this man,” his wife, Julie Campos, said during a press conference Monday morning. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without the guy, but I’m definitely going to raise my children in his honor.”

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter.

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