Man accused in fatal French Quarter beating surrenders to NOPD - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Man accused in fatal French Quarter beating surrenders to NOPD

Robert Bennett, 41 (Source: Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office) Robert Bennett, 41 (Source: Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

A Mississippi man facing manslaughter charges after a drunken encounter at a French Quarter bar has surrendered to New Orleans police.

Robert Bennett, 41, turned himself in at police headquarters Sunday with his attorney present.

Officers said Bennett punched Paul Eckels, 58, in the face in September at a Bourbon Street bar because he said Eckels was bothering him and his wife.

Eckels was knocked unconscious and broke his jaw and several ribs.

Bennett was originally charged with second-degree battery, but Eckels died three days later. His death remained unclassified until the coroner determined he died of pneumonia.

The coroner said the victim's broken jaw and ribs put him at a greater risk for lung infection and ruled the death a homicide.

Bennett was rebooked into Central Lock-up and charged with one count of manslaughter.

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