Woman on Trial for Killing Rapper With One Punch

Victim accepted a $5 bet to be punched in the face by a woman.

ByABC News
May 31, 2011, 12:19 PM

May 31, 2011 — -- A 142 pound woman is on trial for killing an aspiring rapper with one punch to the face during a party game in which the victim agreed to be hit as part of a $5 bet.

John "Fatboy" Powell, 25, was attending and performing at a party with his band Krazy Killaz last September when he accepted a $5 party bet to be punched in the face by a woman.

A few minutes after Tiffany Startz, 22, had delivered a punch to his face, Powell passed out. He was taken to Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill., where he died.

An autopsy on Powell showed that an artery burst in his neck and that he died from a brain hemorrhage caused by blunt force trauma.

Now, Startz is on trial and facing charges of battery and reckless conduct. Her lawyer Ira Goldstein said, "There's nothing reckless here. What she did was intentional. [Powell] said he would accept the punch from her."

Startz is 5-foot-5' and weighs 142 pounds and Goldstein said, "She's a young girl with no training in body building or karate or fighting or anything like that."

"There was no animosity, no maliciousness," added Goldstein, "just a stupid party stunt that went terribly wrong. No one anticipated this."

The defense asked last week for the case to be dismissed because the punch was consensual, but on Friday Will County Judge Edward Burmila ruled that the case will continue.

According to police reports, Jimmy Mounts, 27, was offering $5 at the party to anyone who would be punched by Startz. The Joliet Police Department said that the game occurred at a garage party. Startz's lawyer said that his client and Mounts had run this betting game at one other party without incident.

When the Crest Hill police arrived on the scene, they began hearing different versions of what had happened from the people at the party.

Crest Hill Chief of Police Dwayne Wilkerson said, "The people weren't real forthcoming in the beginning. There were a few versions of the story." After separating the attendees from each other, the police were able to get a clearer picture of what happened.

"People shouldn't go around punching each other, not even for money," the chief said.

Mounts is being charged with reckless conduct. Both Mounts and Startz are free on bond.

Powell's relatives were not available for immediate comment.

The case is expected in court again on June 16.