DRACUT, Mass. (AP) — One of two brothers facing criminal charges for attacking and yelling racist slurs at a 22-year-old man in Massachusetts has died, authorities said.
Dracut police Chief Peter Bartlett on Saturday confirmed the death of Jeremy Stephenson, 36, of Plaistow, New Hampshire, The Boston Globe reported. Bartlett said he didn’t know any additional details.
Jeremy Stephenson and James Stephenson, 39, of Salem, New Hampshire, have been accused of assaulting a man in the parking lot of a pizza shop and telling the victim to “go back to Africa” on Sept. 27 in Dracut, Massachusetts. According to officials, the man stabbed Jeremy Stephenson in self-defense during the alleged attack.
The brothers were charged with constitutional rights violations, assault and other offenses. They pleaded not guilty and were released without bail, court records show.
The alleged victim’s name was not made public. The brothers punched the man, yelled racist slurs and pushed him through a plate glass window, officials said.
A court hearing in the brothers’ case is scheduled for Thursday.
Jeremy Stephenson died on Dec. 9 at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, according to an obituary published on Brookside Chapel & Funderal Home’s website. His obituary didn’t list a cause of death.
The Lowell Sun first reported Jeremy Stephenson’s death on Friday.
The Middlesex District Attorney’s office and a spokesman for the public defender’s office that represents Jeremy Stephenson, declined to comment on Sunday.
A message was also left seeking comment with the lawyer representing James Stephenson.