A St. Paul man was found guilty of murder Friday in a 2014 fatal beating at a Maplewood bar.
Ronald D. Smaller, 25, waived a jury trial and was tried before Ramsey County District Court Judge Jennifer Frisch. The judge convicted him of two counts of second-degree murder without intent.
Smaller and Brandon J. Smith, 25, beat Eduardo Alberto Figueroa Nov. 11, 2014 — Figueroa’s birthday — at Freddy’s Tiki Hut in Maplewood. Figueroa, 40, declined medical attention at the scene of the attack, and died about 1 a.m. on Nov. 12.
According to the complaint: Figueroa was celebrating his birthday with his daughter when Smaller, Smith and a woman entered the bar.
Smaller was yelling into a phone. A band playing nearby asked him to quiet down, but he refused. The bar owner and Figueroa stepped in, repeating the band’s request. The two then tried to escort Smaller’s group out.
Smith argued with Figueroa. Smaller and the woman appeared to exit, but immediately returned. The woman grabbed Figueroa’s daughter’s hair.
Figueroa tried to intervene, and Smith allegedly punched him in the head several times, sending him to the ground. Smaller then kicked Figueroa in the head several times.
Smith stomped on and Smaller kicked Figueroa’s head as they left the bar, the complaint said.
Figueroa, who had heart disease, died of fatal cardiac arrhythmia due to the assault. He suffered multiple traumatic injuries to his face, and had multiple rib fractures.
Smaller is scheduled to be sentenced March 10.
Smith pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder without intent, and was sentenced last August to 17 years in prison.