FREMONT (CBS SF) — A 36-year-old Fremont man is scheduled to return Nov. 14 to Alameda County Superior Court in connection with the May 19 death of a 40-year-old man who died after a fight outside of a Niles bar, Fremont police said Sunday.

It is a case that has taken months to develop, police said Sunday, in large part because police and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office had to wait for the coroner’s report to be completed. Matthew Jardine faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Thaddeus Steiner, also of Fremont, outside the Florence Bar on Niles Boulevard.

Matthew Jardine (Photo: Fremont PD)

The two men, who police said had exchanged words two nights earlier, appear to have gotten into a fight on May 19 in the courtyard adjacent to the bar.

Police said Sunday that, during the fight, Steiner was “struck in the head by Jardine’s fist,” and went to the ground. Jardine, police said, returned to the bar and told one of Steiner’s friends where to find him, telling him he “put him (Steiner) to sleep.”

Fremont Fire Department paramedics, unaware there had been a fight, found Steiner lying on the ground in the courtyard, suffering from a head injury. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died several days later, police said.

Police said they learned the next day the gravity of Steiner’s injuries, and also heard from a witness who said the two men had gone outside to fight.

Jardine and his attorney spoke with Fremont police detectives on May 23 about the incident. Police said Jardine had multiple cuts in the knuckle area of his right hand, and that his middle finger appeared to be swollen and bruised – all consistent with the fight he described to officers.

The Alameda County Coroner’s autopsy report had to be finalized before the criminal investigation could be finished; that happened in September, when the final report was provided to the District Attorney for review.

The coroner’s report indicated Steiner had a fracture to the back of his skull and a subdermal hematoma which caused swelling and pressure on the brain stem. The cause of death was listed as “: blunt force injuries to the head.”

In a statement Sunday, Fremont police said, “In many instances, cases are quick to investigate and conclude, but that was not the case with this incident. Since the incident occurred, detectives have kept the Alameda County District Attorney apprised of the case, and had to ultimately wait for the Alameda County Coroner’s autopsy report to be finalized before concluding the criminal investigation.”

Police said that after charges were filed in September, Jardine turned himself in and was taken into custody, and later released on his own recognizance.

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