Golf ball dispute prompts indictment

Sunday, June 1, 2003

QUINCY, Mass. -- A 54-year-old man has been indicted for manslaughter in a deadly argument over abandoned golf balls.

Robert Carnathan pleaded innocent at his initial arraignment in the Nov. 9 death of Donald King, 79. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

The state's chief medical examiner determined King died after suffering cardiac arrest during the fight with Carnathan at Presidents Golf Course in Quincy.

Authorities said the two men both lived near the county-owned course, and Carnathan regularly collected and sold lost golf balls. Prosecutors said the pair began fighting because King tried to take some of the abandoned balls. Carnathan allegedly threw stones at King, and beat him on the head and legs with a cane.

Carnathan, who has used a cane to walk for several years, has said he acted in self-defense.

The manslaughter charge was given Thursday by a grand jury.

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