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Man, 22, won't do prison time in death of friend

By: LANCE BENZEL
June 11, 2012
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photo - Tyler Theis Photo by Colorado Springs Police Department
Tyler Theis Photo by Colorado Springs Police Department 

A Colorado Springs man arrested in the death of a close friend will avoid prison time under a recent plea deal with prosecutors.

Tyler Theis, 22, pleaded guilty May 29 to reckless manslaughter and third-degree assault in the death of Jacob Seabright, who family members say died of head injuries he suffered when he and Theis got into a fight and fell down stairs.

The men were close friends and former housemates, according to relatives on both sides, and Theis' arrest came against the objections of the victim's mother, Sally Seabright, who told The Gazette her son's death was an accident. 

Seabright, 22, was dropped off at a hospital after the fall and died two days later, Colorado Springs police said.

Few other details were released, and an arrest affidavit detailing circumstances of the fight was sealed by court order.

Theis' father, Richard Theis, said in November the men were alone at the time Seabright was injured, and that both tumbled down stairs.

The reason for the fight wasn't clear, Richard Theis said.

Under terms of the deal, Theis received a deferred sentence of four years, meaning he will not serve in prison unless he violates the deal by breaking laws. Theis also was sentenced to two months of probation on the assault charge.

Sally Seabright couldn't be reached Monday for comment on the plea agreement.

"This is something that he'll have to live with every day for the rest of his life and that's prison enough," she told The Gazette in December.

The charge of reckless manslaughter normally carries a six-year-maximum but prosecutors initially pursued a sentence enhancer that could have led to a harsher penalty. The enhancer was dismissed as a result of the deal, records show.

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