Fitchburg man dies after baseball bat beating

Published On: Dec 03 2012 06:27:44 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 03 2012 06:27:00 AM CST
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

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

The Dane County Sheriff's Office says 20-year-old Ryan M. Smith died Saturday morning at UW Hospital. 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 likely would be upgraded to homicide.

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