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Man gets year in jail in neighbor’s death

A man who got into a confrontation with his neighbor a year ago has been found guilty of third-degree battery.

Robert Delay, 36, of Clinton was found guilty May 10 during a bench trial in District Court. He also was found guilty of criminal mischief-second degree. Delay was sentenced to one year in the Van Buren County Detention Center. He was taken to jail after the trial.

In May 2012, Clinton hairdresser Robbie Cole, 53, died after a confrontation with Delay outside his home. Cole was knocked to the ground during the confrontation, reports stated.

Initially, Cole did not appear to be seriously injured, but his condition deteriorated while he was at Ozark Medical Center and Cole was airlifted to a Little Rock hospital where he died the next day.

Cole told authorities at the time that Delay’s daughter was in his yard bothering his dogs and he asked her to leave, according to a Clinton Police Department report. Cole told police Delay then came onto his property and pushed him to the ground. Cole reportedly hit his head on the brick-and-concrete driveway.

According to the report, Delay gave a similar account, saying the physical confrontation occurred after “words were exchanged.”

Delay was not charged in the case until December 2012.

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