DA reveals cause, manner of Patriots fan’s death as charges are filed against 2 men

FOXBORO, Mass. — Criminal charges have been filed against two men in connection with an altercation in the stands at Gillette Stadium earlier this season that resulted in the death of a New England Patriots fan, prosecutors said.

John D. Vieira, 59, and Justin A. Mitchell, 39, both of Warwick, Rhode Island, were charged by criminal complaint with assault and battery and disorderly conduct in the death of 53-year-old New Hampshire native Dale Mooney, according to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office.

The complaints against Vieira and Mitchell allege that they “did assault and beat Dale Mooney” during a game against the Miami Dolphins in September.

In October, Foxboro Police Chief Michael A. Grace announced that his department planned to seek criminal charges against three Rhode Island men, but as of Thursday, only Vieira and Mitchell were facing charges in Mooney’s death.

In addition to the filing of criminal charges, the DA’s office said that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner officially ruled the cause of Mooney’s death to be “probable cardiac dysrhythmia in a person with severe hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease during a physical altercation.” The manner of his death was also deemed a homicide.

After reviewing the evidence in this case, officials say they determined that there wasn’t enough information to warrant homicide charges.

“The review of the available evidence, including the autopsy results and multiple angles of video capturing the incident, did not determine that the evidence established a basis for criminal prosecution of charges related to homicide in Mr. Mooney’s death,” the DA’s office said in a statement.

Mooney, a married father of two who lived in Newmarket, was attending New England’s Sunday night game on Sept. 17.

State police said Mooney was in the stadium’s 308/309 section during the fourth quarter of the game around 11 p.m. when he collapsed and was rushed to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, where he was pronounced dead just before midnight.

Mooney’s wife, Lisa, told Boston 25 News that her husband was a lifelong fan of the Patriots who had been a season ticket holder for 30 years. She also described him as a “good dad” to their two adult sons.

Vieira is slated to be arraigned in Wrentham District Court on Jan. 19, 2024, while Mitchell is due in court on Jan. 26, 2024.

Troopers assigned to the DA’s office are assisting Foxboro police with the investigation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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