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Family of Rhinelander man starts private investigation into fatal bar fight


RHINELANDER, Wis. (WSAU) - The tale of the fatal New Year’s bar fight in Rhinelander may not be over yet. WJFW television reports that the family of James Tanner has hired a private investigator to look into the circumstances of his death.

James Tanner died after he punched a patron at Sackett's Bar, which prompted the bar’s DJ, 59 year old Gregory Dryden to intervene. Dryden restrained Tanner and moved him toward the bar area, but Tanner didn't get up. Tanner died in the ambulance a short time later outside the bar. An autopsy indicated Tanner's sternum had broken and a portion pierced his heart.

On Thursday, Oneida County District Attorney Michael Schiek announced after gathering more than 23 interviews and autopsy evidence he would not charge 59 year old Gregory Dryden for the death of James Tanner. Schiek said in reviewing all the evidence, he felt there wasn't enough evidence to charge Dryden with second­ degree reckless homicide.

Tanner’s family disagrees.