Minn. Man Pleads Guilty In Fatal Street Fight

BUFFALO, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota man has pleaded guilty in a fight that led to the death of a former University of North Dakota student body president.

Twenty-four-year-old Alexander Tuomisto of St. Michael pleaded guilty Monday in Wright County to first-degree assault. A charge of second-degree unintentional murder is expected to be dismissed at his sentencing April 15.

The Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald reports that under a plea deal, Tuomisto will serve no more than five years in prison and pay no more than $20,000 in restitution.

Authorities say Tuomisto punched Adam Baker last May outside the Corner Bar in St. Michael, causing him to hit his head on the ground.

Baker was in a coma for seven months before dying in December at 32.

According to court documents, a defense attorney argued that Tuomisto was not the aggressor and was defending himself.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • unknown

    @justiceisajoke..Read closely..He was NOT the agressor. Self defense. Freak accident how it happened. Thats like blaming a pencil for misspelling words. You would have defended yourself in the same situation.

    • 911Caller

      He WAS the aggressor. I saw it all and dialed 911. I don’t think he meant to kill the man, but he was probably just a boy being a boy, landing an alcohol and testosterone-induced punch to get his kicks. I doubt he knew the guy – approached the guy furthest away from the crowd and grabbed him, guy tried to shake him off, but he held on with one hand and punched with the other. This is what I saw. We’re all taught in kindergarten to keep our hands to ourselves. This may be a good lesson for those of us who don’t. I feel sadly for all families involved. Truly tragic.

      • me

        Is it possible you didnt see what had gone on before this happend? There may have been an altercation prior to this that was not seen which may have shown he was not the agressor. Either way, it sucks for both involved.

    • reply

      Thank you for your comment… I couldn’t have sait it better. It seems to me that it was all an accident even though it resulted in death it could have been an accident. He is getting a punishment… do we really need him to go to jail for the rest of his life for an accident? I

  • Cache

    There is something wrong with our society…I noticed the difference growing up with all the guys getting drunk and most wanting to fight…I noticed it overseas that when they got drunk they mostly wanted to fight too…I stayed away and joined other cultures who drank but got romantic not hostile…we need to re-examine our culture of violence!?!?!?

  • Mike

    What is learned when the courts say do not get involved when you see one person being ganged up by a group of men. Whether he is your friend, acquaintance, or stranger, do you stand and watch or do you step in to help him? By the time the authorities would arrive it maybe too late for him. If you had the physical ability to stop it, would you?

  • Jeffrey Lee Wilson

    his history i’m sure is being taken into account with the sentencing. intentions have a great deal to do with it. i don’t believe his intentions were to kill the guy..aggressor or not. now that he will be imprisoned he will learn what a one hit wonder really is. i hope he has learned his lesson. i’m sure there are a great many people out there that will use this as a precedent so that they too can kill someone with one punch and say “oh, one punch? are you serious? i didn’t mean to”. yup, that works for me. :)

    • mike

      You didn’t answer the question. If you had the physical ability to stop it, would you?

  • Steve S

    This loser killed my cousin and was known as a local bar drunk,always looking for fights. Adam was not a fighter and he was the one in self defense.He had a great career going in his young life and had no need to get into fight’s.Adam was on this earth to make a difference and to make this a better place to live,he gave back to his communtiy, something I’m sure we cant say for his assailant. Hey “Unknown” keep your trap shut because you were not there and do not know the facts,and shove that pencil up your …..!!!!
    We lost a beloved family member and this loser is still Alive,no one can ever change that.5 years is not enough for this family……

    • unknown

      Who is to say Alexander isn’t a great guy as well? Accidents happen. Horrible it went down this way. Don’t jump the gun to judge someone you dont know because of a tragic accident. I’m sure you would have a different view if the tables had been turned.

    • jon

      wow i was in the court room and pretty sure it takes two people to fight… and your whole family needs to be put in jail for wanting money and more jail time. you are the criminals for wasting time and tax payers money on a accident. oh and your cousin also had an alcohol content of over .2 so im sure he wanted to fight as well. what do u think happens when a guy cant hold his liqueur he tries to fight and ends up in a world of hurt!

  • Chuck

    Alex was leaving the bar and came across an aquantance getting beat up by a group of 5 guys. He started pulling guys off while yelling “knock it off!” He was surrounded, hit several times in the back of the head and pulled one more guy off. This guy, Adam Baker, took at least one punch at Alex, hitting him in the face. Alex threw his only punch of the night and hit Adam. Adam had a BAC of .23. Everything I’ve said is part of the court record and his appearance yesterday was the first time Alex has been able to tell his story publicly. You cannot claim Self Defense in Minnesota if you have a way to escape without throwing the punch. Many people had too much to drink that night so credible witnesses are hard to come by. Those that made statements to the police that early morning which the media picked up on, changed their stories after they sobered up, mostly stating they were too drunk to remember much. Alex never changed one word of his story and turned himself in immediatley when he heard he was a suspect for someone that was injured very severely. Alex graduated with honors from Mankato State University and was employed as a Construction Manager for a company in St. Paul. He immediately moved out of St. Michael and was let go by the company because of this incident. Many thousands of dollars have been spent on his defense and bail with much more to come with the restitution and possible medical bills. He will have a felony on his record, will not be able to vote, hunt with a gun, and have to put the felony on a job application. All this for coming to the aid of someone in trouble and throwing a punch in self defense.

  • PETE

    Chuck I couldnt agree more I’ve been to the Corner bar many times. When someone is .23 they have no idea! a good person or not doesn’t come into play when your that drunk. at .23 the wind could have blown him over and hit the pavement and being in the same situation very tragic for sure but an accident

  • Ernest

    I guess that “Jay” guy was right after all about what REALLY happened…..

  • Jay

    Thank you, Ernest. It DID take awhile, didn’t it? Bottom line is that Baker had a .23 Blood Alcohol level and was out with his buddies on their annual all-day drunkathon, during which they drunkenly attacked Eric Kollis. Tuomisto came to Kollis’ rescure, but while Tuomisto was peeling the drunken attackers off, Baker took a drunken swing at Tuomisto, whose natural reaction was to hit back. It was one punch, and probably not too hard, but Baker was so drunk he had no balance, causing him to fall. And because Baker was SO drunk he couldn’t even break his fall with his hands. So he fell on his head. Stupidity, irresponsiblity and bad luck. The ONLY person who acted responsibly was Alex Tuomisto, yet HE is the guy they want to put in jail. Go figure.

    • Jim

      How can you honeslty call Alex “responsible”?!?! If he was so responsible, he wouldn’t have thrown the punch in the first place. Where I come from it takes more courage NOT to pull the trigger. Now a man is dead because some hot head sucker punched a drunk guy. Poor Alex will probably spend less than 3 years in jail and won’t be able to go hunting again… Small price to pay for a man’s life if you ask me.

      • jon

        jim he can go hunting its called a bow. become a sportsman not a internet idiot! Alex is a stand up guy. and im sure if i threw a punch at you, your natural instinct is to punch back not run away. lets be realistic

  • andrebrew

    I am sure some of you posting commemts know Alex. This is how I see it, Alex should get punished. He did the crime now he has to do the time. Even if it wasnt ment to come out the way it did. Now ask yourself this, what if it was the other way around? Would that change your opinion on the situation?? Yes, it would!!

  • me

    I went to school with Alex and I won’t even attempt to count how many times I saw him fighting. I wasn’t friends with him but EVERY time I saw him downtown he was fighting or atleast running his mouth trying to start something. Truely a jerk. I didn’t know Adam but I feel for his family. Why do guys feel the need to fight? Stupid and pointless and now a young man is dead. Give Alex 10 years+

  • Ernest

    The cause of all of this was Adam – he started the fight. He took a swing at Alex and partly connected. When someone hits you it is normal and HUMAN to hit back. I would have done the exact same as Alex, and I have a completely clean record and with no arrests. And BECAUSE Adam was so drunk he was then totally defenseless – he had NO balance and was unable to break his fall. It was Adam Baker’s fault. In theory, Alex would be morally justified to sue Adam’s estate.

  • jon

    it was a bar fight you moron and it was a mutual fight… and for fighting they usally give you a ticket not a prison sentence all alex should have gotten was a ticket and a month in jail. people like you make me sick who think just cause some dumb drunk cant brace his fall on the way down and dies it should be murder.. get a life.,. and i hope his domestic partner meets adam bakers fate!

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