Man dies after being beaten with baseball bat

CREATED Dec 2, 2012

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MADISON - A Fitchburg man has died after being beaten with a baseball bat in Mount Horeb.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office says 20-year-old Ryan M. Smith died Saturday morning at UW Hospital. Smith suffered skull fractures and lung injuries in the beating early last Tuesday. Authorities have said drugs may have played a role in the violence.

Authorities are holding an 18-year-old man on suspicion of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

His bail was set Friday at $1 million, but Assistant District Attorney Rachel Sattler delayed formally charging him Friday, saying the charge likely would be upgraded to homicide.

The suspect has claimed self-defense, and has another hearing set for this coming Tuesday.