No charges in confrontation that left college student with horrific injuries

Isaiah Smith suffered brutal injuries, but accounts of the confrontation complicate things.
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Isaiah Smith

Despite the horrific injuries they left him with, the people who got into an altercation with an NDSU student earlier this month will not be charged.

Isaiah Smith's story prompted an outpouring of support on social media, with family members reporting the 21-year-old was beaten because he had confronted an alleged domestic abuser at a Fargo house party.

The attack left his jaw "hanging from his face" and "broken in three places," among other grievous injuries.

But this week, prosecutors in Cass County, North Dakota, announced they would not be filing any criminal charges in the incident. 

It's because "accounts from the scene tend to show Smith was the aggressor," the Forum reported

And because state law allows someone to use physical force to defend another person, there's no way to prove assault, said the prosecutor's report detailed by the Forum.

The decision is not sitting well with Smith's family. 

"Everyone is nitpicking what happened," his sister Casey Droher said in an update on their YouCaring fundraising page. Though she admitted "choice words" were exchanged between her brother and his rival, and that alcohol was involved on both sides.

"While they were arguing," she continued, "the guys [sic] friend grabbed Isaiah from behind the neck, choking him, and slamming him to the ground." 

She also says the assailants later explained it all as an attempt to defend their friend, and that "investigators are basing their decision off of what the men are saying happened." 

"We do not know the full truth, we do know however that several doctors who have examined Isaiahs [sic] injuries, believe this story is inconsistent with what his injuries look like," she added.

Smith's recovery

"Isaiah is okay" and "going through the motions of recovering," Droher wrote in the same update. 

She said the wires have been removed from his jaw, but he will have to keep to a "soup/smoothie diet" for another six to eight weeks, and possibly longer. 

Smith, from Brainerd, is apparently also having trouble remembering exactly what happened during the attack because of the concussion he suffered. 

The fundraising page has garnered over $42,000, surpassing the goal by a couple thousand dollars. 

Smith is a nursing student at North Dakota State University.

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