OCEAN CITY — A West Ocean City man, arrested on manslaughter and assault charges in late January, was formally indicted this week and is on track for an early June trial.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office">
Around 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 26, 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. Police and EMS arrived at the scene and located an unresponsive male. The male individual was taken to AGH where he was pronounced deceased. The male was identified as Michael Eric Post, 39, of Ocean City.
Initially, Ocean City Police treated the incident as an unattended death while the investigation unfolded. OCPD detectives later learned a suspect, later 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. Post and Nottingham were long-time acquaintances and sources have said a fight started over a dropped cell phone and the verbal argument escalated to a physical altercation.
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 later determined Post died of head injuries related to the assault. The Medical Examiner’s Office subsequently confirmed for The Dispatch the manner of death was homicide but could provide no more details.
After getting the medical examiner’s report, OCPD detectives arrested Nottingham at his residence on Townsend Rd. in West Ocean City. Nottingham was charged with manslaughter and second-degree assault. After an initial bond review, Nottingham was ordered to be held on a $500,000 bond.
On Tuesday, Nottingham was formally indicted, moving his case from District Court to Circuit Court. A trial date has been tentatively set for June 6.
“We indicted Mr. Nottingham, which negated the need for a preliminary hearing and removes the District Court charges,” said State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby. “It’s basically a short cut to get the case in Circuit Court where it is most appropriate. There are no additional charges or new charges.”