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Second R.I. man involved in fight at Gillette Stadium pleads not guilty; released on personal recognizance

Dale Mooney, a married father of two from Newmarket, N.H., collapsed after a fight Sept. 17, 2023, and later died.GoFundMe

The second Rhode Island man facing assault charges in connection with a fatal struggle among fans during a New England Patriots game in September pleaded not guilty in Wrentham District Court Friday, according to court records.

Justin A. Mitchell is charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct stemming from the incident in the stands during the Patriots game on Sept. 17 that ended with the death of 53-year-old Dale Mooney.

Mitchell, 39, is not charged with Mooney’s death, records show.

Mitchell, a Warwick resident, pleaded not guilty Friday and was released on personal recognizance by Judge Thomas L. Finigan, records show.

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Daniel K. Gelb, Mitchell’s defense attorney, wrote in an e-mail that his client is “defending the charges against him, and I am respectfully declining to comment at this time on a pending case.”

Mitchell and John Vieira, 59, also of Warwick, attended the game against the Dolphins as did Mooney, a longtime Pats fan from Newmarket, N.H. During the game, the three verbally sparred before it developed into a physical confrontation during the fourth quarter, officials have said.

Mooney collapsed and was later pronounced dead. The state medical examiner’s office concluded Mooney died from longstanding health issues and not from the physical contact involving the Rhode Island men.

Vieira pleaded not guilty to assault and battery and disorderly conduct charges earlier this month. He was also released on personal recognizance. His defense attorney, Peter Aspesi, told the Globe his client was not guilty of the criminal charges.

Information from earlier Globe coverage was used in this report.


John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him @JREbosglobe.