Jurors Acquit Oceanside Bouncer of Involuntary Manslaughter

Jurors have acquitted an Oceanside bouncer of involuntary manslaughter in the December death of a man.

Derrick Belser, 40, was accused of knocking 27-year-old Mark Girard Jr. to the ground during a fight at an Oceanside bar just after 2 a.m. on Dec. 28.

Belser allegedly knocked Girard down, causing him to hit his head on the ground. Girard was found by police unconscious at an apartment about three blocks away from the bar.

He was taken to a hospital where he died two days later.

Belser’s defense attorney said the group made multiple stops that night and had consumed a lot of alcohol before encountering Belser at the backdoor of the bar at 2 a.m., after closing time.

Prosecutors allege Belser followed Girard and his two friends outside the bar that night, punching two of them following an argument.

However, the defense has given a much different account of what happened, arguing that the men were repeatedly told to leave the bar after it closed at 2 a.m. The men left, but Belser spotted them allegedly “hovering” at the rear entrance.

When Belser confronted them, they allegedly became hostile, according to the defense attorney.

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