Murder charge certified against man charged in deadly Chesapeake bar fight

Posted at 1:56 PM, May 05, 2015

Chesapeake, Va. - A 2nd degree Murder charge against a Chesapeake man accused of killing another man in a bar fight last December was certified to a Grand Jury in a court hearing on Tuesday.

Ronnie Cisko, 37, was arrested and charged after police say Ronnie and another man, Chuck Setchel, got into a fight. Setchel died from his injuries.

Ronnie Cisko

Ronnie Cisko

The incident occurred on December 28th at Zino’s Italian Restaurant at 850 Old George Washington Highway.

Setchel's fiance told NewsChannel 3 that the fight had escalated during a football game. The two men were cheering for different teams and had reportedly been making jabs at each other before turning physical.

Surveillance video from that night showed Setchel stand up from the bar as he’s approached by Cisko. Cisko swings his arm, striking Setchel in the neck. A few seconds later, Setchel is shown motionless on the ground. Cisko and another man are then seen stepping over Setchel and leaving the bar.

The Medical Examiner later reported Setchel’s cause of death was a vertebral artery dissection caused by blunt force trauma.

The Medical Examiner testified at Cisko's hearing Tuesday, saying that even though Setchel had several pre-existing conditions including emphysema, high blood pressure and heart problems, it was Cisko's assault that killed Setchel. She said during the assault, Setchell's neck and head twisted in a way that caused an artery in his spine to explode and cut off the blood supply to his brain.

In an attempt to lower the charge to manslaughter, Cisko's lawyers argued that the charge should not be murder because it was not premeditated.

The Commonwealth Attorney disagreed, saying some premeditation can happen in an instant. The judge agreed saying there was enough probable cause to certify the 2nd degree Murder charge as is to the Grand Jury.

Setchel's daughter, Caitlin was in tears and upset after court.

"It was hard," she said. "The fact that they are even trying to lower it makes me mad. My dad didn't touch him, didn't go forward to him, he didn't have a right to touch my dad."

Cisko's trial date will be set on June 2nd. His attorney said the trial could begin as early as September.


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