Police: Man charged with murder after assault victim, veteran di - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Police: Man charged with murder after assault victim, veteran dies in hospital

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30-Year-old Eric Paul Cobb - Charged with Murder 30-Year-old Eric Paul Cobb - Charged with Murder
65-year-old O'Dell Fields 65-year-old O'Dell Fields

A Lake Wylie man was arrested and charged with murder after a man he assaulted at a Rock Hill bar died in the hospital, according to a report from Rock Hill police.

Eric Paul Cobb, 30, was arrested Saturday and charged with first degree assault and battery after police say he struck 65-year-old O'Dell Fields.

His charge was upgraded to murder after Fields died at the hospital.

The incident happened at the Sandbar Grill on the 4100 block of Celanese Road just before 10 p.m. Saturday.

Officers were called to the business in reference to an assault, and arrived to find Fields lying unconscious on the ground being worked on by EMS.

Witnesses told police that Fields and another man, later identified as Gregory Wallace, 32, had gotten into a verbal argument, and that both were "highly intoxicated."

The bouncer at the bar then tried to calm the situation, and Fields agreed to leave, the witnesses told police.

When Fields went to leave, Wallace approached him and began to yell and verbally assault him again. The bouncer blocked Wallace from physically assaulting Fields.

That's when, the report states, Cobb came around the bouncer and Wallace and struck Fields in the head.

Fields fell to the ground and Cobb and Wallace took off running down Celanese Road.

EMS responded to the scene and Fields was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

Cobb and Wallace were taken into custody while walking down Celanese Road. Cobb was charged with assault and battery, and he and Wallace were both charged with public disorderly conduct.

Officials say Fields died at the hospital Sunday, and Cobb's charges were upgraded to murder.

Fields' widow, Tammy, didn't want to speak on camera, but said that her husband had a big mouth, but wasn't a fighter. She told WBTV that he died from injuries because he was hit in the back of the head so hard his neck broke.

She said her heart is also broken for Cobb's children, adding that O'Dell's father was murdered when O'Dell was a baby. She says that these senseless killings need to stop.

The owner of the Sandbar Grill, Tommy Rice, said this kind of thing has never happened there. "Everybody here is pretty upset about it to see something hit so close to home," he said.

Tammy Fields said that Friday O'Dell picked flowers for Mother's Day. He was a Vietnam Veteran, a father of three, and grandfather to seven kids. 

Tammy says she first met O'Dell when she was 16-years-old, and knew she would marry him. They were married just five months later, and were married for 44 years.

The family is in the process of making funeral arrangements.

Eric Cobb was still awaiting a bond hearing Monday afternoon.

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