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Published December 02 2012

Wisconsin man dies after being beaten with baseball bat

MADISON — A Fitchburg, Wis., man has died after being beaten with a baseball bat in Mount Horeb.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office said 20-year-old Ryan M. Smith died Saturday morning at UW Hospital in Madison. Smith suffered skull fractures and lung injuries in the beating early last Tuesday. Authorities have said drugs may have played a role in the violence.

Authorities are holding an 18-year-old man on suspicion of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. His bail was set Friday at $1 million, but Assistant District Attorney Rachel Sattler delayed formally charging him Friday, saying the charge probably would be upgraded to homicide.

The suspect has claimed self-defense, and has another hearing set for this Tuesday.