Criminal Law: Death by Agitation

While driving in Akron last year, James Nosis, 52, became enraged at a hornblowing motorist who passed his car. At the next stoplight, he challenged the other driver, 65-year-old Charles Ripple, to a fight. Though Ripple and his wife pleaded that he suffered from a heart condition, Nosis pursued them to their suburban home and made menacing gestures in the driveway. After Mrs. Ripple went inside to call the sheriff, her husband collapsed. Less than an hour later, he died of a heart attack.

Was Nosis criminally responsible for Ripple's death? Akron Prosecutor James V. Barbuto could find no precedent...

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