Father of 3 killed by single punch during fight after child's birthday party

By: Tony Thomas

Updated:

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A Gwinnett County man is dead after police say someone threw one punch at a party.

There was a large group of people gathered Saturday night for the party at a home on Pipeline Road in Gwinnett County. 

Channel 2’s Tony Thomas saw a birthday banner still up at a tent in the yard. He talked to the widow of Tomas Rodriguez Tuesday. He was a father of three. 

“It's so hard, it's so hard for me but I'm so sad for my little girl,” said Ana Arriaga. 

The family said Rodriguez joined about 70 other people for the birthday party. The adults stayed around drinking afterwards when, police said, Rodriguez began making derogatory remarks and physical contact with another man, Adrian Herrera.

Just after 3 a.m., police said, Herrera threw one punch. It landed on the side of Rodriguez’s head and neck.

He fell and later died.

Police charged Herrera with voluntary manslaughter, saying it would normally be murder but Herrera acted solely as a result of a sudden, violent and irresistible passion.

In court Tuesday, Herrera asked for bond. 

“Is it possible you can give me a bond soon to provide for my family as soon as possible?” Herrera asked the judge.

The judge denied his request and ordered him to be held without bond.

“Adrian broke a lot of lives, a lot of hearts,” Arriaga said.

Arriaga admits her husband had been drinking a lot but said when he drank he was a baby and couldn’t have fought anyone. 

Herrera will be back in court next week. 

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