A Palatine man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of first-degree murder in the July death of 26-year-old Ryan Flannigan, who police say was punched outside a local bar.
Prosecutors say Michael Platt, 35, punched Flannigan in the head about 11:30 p.m. July 18 after a dispute between Platt and another man. Police say the punch was unprovoked and that Flannigan was not involved in any altercation.
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"This was an unprovoked attack -- an act of violence," said Tim Cavanagh, an attorney for Flannigan's relatives who said family members intend to file a wrongful-death lawsuit next week.
Flannigan's family wants Platt to "respond under oath as to what happened," Cavanagh said, pointing out that defendants in criminal trials can assert a Fifth Amendment right to remain silent but cannot do so in civil court.
"The family wants him to be held fully accountable for the consequences of his conduct," Cavanagh said.
Witnesses said Flannigan was attempting to diffuse the situation when he was struck. Authorities say he fell to the ground and hit his head on the sidewalk. He died 10 days later.
Cook County Judge Thomas Fecarotta ordered Platt, who is free on bond, to surrender his passport and have no contact with Flannigan's family.
Platt next appears in court Sept. 29. If convicted of first-degree murder, he faces up to 60 years in prison.