Jury Finds Man Guilty Of Manslaughter In Friend’s Death; First Trial Ended With A Hung Jury

SNOW HILL — A West Ocean City man was found guilty of manslaughter and other charges for his role in the death of his longtime friend outside a downtown Ocean City bar in January 2013 during a friendly altercation that went terribly wrong.

After deliberating for just under an hour on Monday evening, a Worcester County Circuit Court jury returned with guilty verdicts on all counts against George Doran Nottingham, 49, of West Ocean City, including manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and affray. Nottingham was charged in January 2013 for his role in the death of longtime friend Michael Post, 39, outside the Harbor Inn in the early morning hours during what began as a friendly dispute over a swiped cell phone and ended with Nottingham swatting Post outside the door, causing him to fall on the icy, snowy sidewalk. Post suffered a fractured skull during the fall that ultimately caused his death.

The bar’s 16 high-tech video surveillance cameras captured the entire incident from start to finish and the video and still images captured during the altercation painted a clear picture of what happened that fateful night. During the trial, no one disputed Nottingham struck Post, causing him to fall and ultimately fracture his skull. What was in dispute, however, was who was the primary aggressor.

The state portrayed Nottingham as an angry, agitated aggressor who went outside looking for Post several minutes after the dispute had calmed down, while the defense portrayed Post as the main aggressor, who allegedly waited outside for Nottingham to come out. The defense claimed Nottingham went outside only after he believed Post was gone and the incident was over, only to find Post waiting for him outside the bar’s front door. Through both versions runs a thread of truth, but in the end, the video images of Nottingham striking Post and causing him to fall and strike his head could not be overcome and the jury returned guilty verdicts across the board after deliberating for about 50 minutes on Monday.

Retired Judge Dale Cathell, who presided over the case, ordered a pre-sentence investigation and Nottingham will likely be sentenced later this summer or early fall.

This week’s trial was the second time the state tried the case against Nottingham with last August’s trial ending with a hung jury.

For more details about the incident, the trial and the verdicts, see Friday’s print and online editions of The Dispatch.

 

 

4 comments on “Jury Finds Man Guilty Of Manslaughter In Friend’s Death; First Trial Ended With A Hung Jury

  1. George needs a nice long sentence. He’s been on hard drugs and alcohol for so long I’m just not surprised at what happened.

  2. First off it was not a “friendly” altercation that happened to end badly. I saw the video from the start of the cell phone dispute to the end where Michael Post was laying on a sidewalk dying. George Nottingham knew that his “long-time friend” was still outside the bar when he chose to step outside and strike Michael so hard in the head that Michael who weighed over 380 pounds immediately fell to the sidewalk, fracturing is skull fatally. I know that George knew Michael was still outside because in the said video Michael opens the door and gives George the finger. At this point Mr. Nottingham let his anger get the better of him and instead of leaving the premises through the back door as was suggested to him, he walked out the front door, took three steps toward Michael Post, drew back his arm, and struck his “friend” in the head. Mr. Nottingham has a long history of violence, drug abuse, and alcohol related offenses. The sad part of this tragedy is Michael’s daughter will never have the opportunity to know the kind, gentle giant her daddy was. She is the surviving victim in all of this. She will someday share her achievements, heartbreaks, thoughts, and love with a man that is not her true daddy. She will be walked down an aisle by a man that hopefully will love her as much as her dad but who is not the man that fathered her. This is what George Nottingham needs to take with him every day of his life. He took a father, a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, and a friend from many that fateful night. My wish is Mr. Nottingham carries this burden in his heart for the rest of his days and on his soul when he dies.

  3. George showed no remorse when he was on the stand he kept trying to pass the buck saying he hit mike in self defense where in the video mike didnt move a muscle that piece of shit did exactly what planned to do to mike when he walked out that door although he never meant to kill mike he def wanted to hit him george has always been a piece of shit from all of he previous assaults to the one that ended in the death of mike this guilty verdict is exactly what he needs and I hope the time he spends in prison he learns to keep his hands to himself so one day its not someone elses uncle who ends up dying at georges hands as nd hopefully one day he will grow the balls to apologize to my mom mom for what happened that night.

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