OCEAN CITY — One local man is dead and another behind bars today on manslaughter and other charges after an altercation last weekend outside a downtown Ocean City bar.
Around 1:30 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police and paramedics responded to the area of Somerset Street in reference to a male individual who was found unconscious on the street outside the Harbor Inn bar. The male individual was taken to AGH where he was pronounced dead. He was identified as Michael Eric Post, 39, of Ocean City.
Police were initially treating the incident as an unattended death while the investigation unfolded. OCPD detectives later learned a suspect, identified as George Daron Nottingham, 47, of Ocean City, had assaulted Post on Somerset Street in front of the bar and the altercation caused the victim to fall and strike his head on the ground. According to a source close to the situation, Post and Nottingham were long-time acquaintances, although the nature of the altercation is uncertain.
The deceased’s remains were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined Post died of head injuries related to the assault. On Thursday, the Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed this afternoon for The Dispatch the manner of death was homicide but could provide no more details.
On Thursday, detectives arrested Nottingham at his residence on Townsend Rd. in West Ocean City. Nottingham has been charged with manslaughter and second-degree assault. He appeared for an initial bond review on Thursday and was ordered to be held on a $500,000 bond.
As of late yesterday, Nottingham was being held in the Worcester County Jail. A preliminary hearing has been set for Feb. 27.
The Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office said the preliminary charges could be added to or amended as the investigation continues and more details become available.
On the surface, the situation appears similar to a 2011 incident outside a West Ocean City bar when the proprietor got into a physical altercation with an inebriated patron and died of injuries caused by the struggle. The suspect was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to three years in jail with all but one suspended.