Man charged with murder after play fighting turns fatal

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Matthew Pape By Andrew Michalscheck Matthew Pape By Andrew Michalscheck

PEORIA, Ariz. -- A 39-year-old Peoria man has been charged with murder for allegedly killing his friend while play fighting.

Peoria police said Matthew Pape and David W. Witmer, 45, of Surprise, were at a bar near Peoria and 67th avenues on Friday night when they began play fighting.

At some point during their pseudo-altercation, Pape put Witmer in a hold that caused him to pass out.

The man then fell to the ground and hit his head, suffering an injury that turned out to be fatal.

Pape was subsequently arrested and booked on a second-degree murder charge.