Manslaughter trial set for November

Union Democrat staff /

An Angels Camp man charged with voluntary manslaughter will face trial in Calaveras County Superior Court on Nov. 7.

Samual Ray Steele, 39, is accused of shoving 63-year-old Michael W. Elliott to the ground outside of his downtown Angels Camp home after leaving a bar during the early morning hours of July 24.

Elliott died in a Sacramento hospital four days later from a head injury that the Calaveras County District Attorney's Office alleges he received as a result of being pushed by Steele.

Steele entered a plea of not guilty to the charge at his Sept. 7 arraignment hearing.

Angels Camp Police Officer Chris Adams testified during an Aug. 23 preliminary hearing in the case that Steele and two acquaintances flagged down a patrol officer to help with Elliott, who was lying on the stairs in his apartment building at the south end of the 1200 block of South Main Street.

Adams testified the officer noticed Elliott was bleeding from a head wound and smelled alcohol on the man.

Steele told the officer he followed Elliott from the Claussen's Corner bar, where both had been drinking, to the man's apartment. There, Steele said, Elliott hit his head on the sidewalk while attempting to get into the building, Adams testified.

Steele later admitted he'd pushed Elliott, causing him to fall and hit his head on a green wooden beam outside the apartment building, Adams told the court.

Steele's public defender Scott Gross said his client rejected a plea bargain offer that would have had him serve three years in state prison for the crime.

Steele is scheduled to return to court at 9 a.m. Oct. 1 for a pre-trial conference. A trial readiness conference is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 2.

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The Union Democrat
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