Man Acquitted Of Manslaughter In Death At Bar

By: Heather Ratcliffe
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 25, 2008

St. Louis — A jury sided Thursday with Kelly J. Forest, who said he was acting in self-defense when his punch killed another man outside a Soulard bar in 2005.

Forest, 39, testified that Robert McCallum, 55, tried to hurt him at Gladstone’s bar, 1800 South 10th Street. The jury found Forest, of the 2800 block of McNair Avenue, not guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Defense attorney Scott Rosenblum argued that the victim caused his own death. McCallum had a 0.207 blood alcohol level at the time of his death, more than 2 1/2 times the legal limit for driving.

Witnesses testified that McCallum and a buddy took Forest’s motorcycle helmet as they left the bar about 2 p.m. that Aug. 22. Forest said he tried to follow them on his Harley-Davidson but returned to Gladstone’s for lunch after they tried to run him off the road.

McCallum and his friend also returned to the bar, witnesses said. Forest testified that when McCallum came at him, he punched him and McCallum fell onto a planter on the sidewalk.

A forensic pathologist testified that McCallum, who was overweight and had health problems, died from blunt force trauma to his abdomen.