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Two charged with killing father who stepped in to protect daughter in bar fight

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Two men have been charged with the murder of a father who stepped in to stop his daughter being assaulted as they celebrated his birthday at a bar in Maplewood last November.

Ronald D. Smaller and Brandon J. Smith, both aged 24 and both of St. Paul, were charged in Ramsey County District Court Friday, each on two counts of second-degree murder without intent.

Smith is currently in jail, while a warrant has been issued for Smaller's arrest, according to a release from the Ramsey County Attorney Office.

It follows the death of Eduardo Alberto Figueroa last November, with the father-of-three and metro business owner who stepped in to break up a fight after three people started assaulting his 18-year-old daughter at Freddy's Tiki Hut.

The 40-year-old from St. Paul was then beaten, and later died at his home.

According to the charges, Figueroa and the Tiki Hut owner tried to escort Smaller, Smith and another woman out of the bar because Smaller was yelling into his phone and was being asked by the performing band to keep it down.

They argued but the trio left, only for Smaller and the woman to return and grab Figueroa's daughter's hair, at which point Figueroa intervened.

He was punched several times in the head by Smith and knocked to the ground, the document says, at which point Smaller began kicking him in the head.

Figueroa was left unconscious, but after regaining it he said he didn't need a medic and went home. Later that night, he was found unresponsive by his family.

An autopsy found that Figueroa had been suffering with heart disease, and the assault had brought on a fatal cardiac arrhythmia.

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