Timothy Warren, a FedEx driver in Oregon will not face charges in connection with the September death of a Portland man he fatally punched, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.
There’s no indication Timothy Warren intended to kill Joseph Magnuson when Warren’s punch connected above Magnuson’s left eye on Sept. 26, Senior Deputy District Attorney Adam Gibbs wrote in a memo declining to prosecute Warren. A county medical examiner later determined Magnuson was in “extremely poor health” beforehand and that his fall to the ground aggravated pre-existing medical conditions and led to his death.
Gibbs also noted in the memo that Warren “was in his right” to challenge Joseph Magnuson.
Witnesses said Magnuson called Warren the n-word and “other aggressive and abusive phrases,” The Oregonian reported. Witnesses said Magnuson started the altercation by yelling at Warren “very aggressively” to slow down, the paper reported. When Warren tried to speak with Magnuson after stopping the vehicle, Magnuson called him racial slurs and threw a drink at the FedEx employee.Witnesses said Magnuson also hurled a bag of food at Warren before he threw a punch that missed.
Warren then hit Magnuson above his left eye, knocking him to the ground unconscious, the report said. Magnuson died a few days later.
“Oregon law contains no ‘duty to retreat’ and Mr. Warren was within his right to exit his vehicle and verbally challenge the manner in which Mr. Magnuson was addressing him,” the memo said. “Mr. Magnuson was the initial verbal aggressor; Mr. Warren responded in kind. Mr. Magnuson then escalated and became the initial physical aggressor; Mr. Warren again responded in kind.”
While Magnuson might still be alive if Warren had not stopped, Gibbs noted that “the decision by Mr. Warren, who is black, to not let the racist vitriol to which he was being subjected go unanswered is not of legal significance,” according to the paper.
Warren waited at the scene and cooperated with police, the paper reported.