Lawyer Dies at Strip Club He Was Defending Over Death

Judge grants trial delay in 2019 Shotgun Willie's case
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2022 7:28 AM CDT

A civil trial over a death at Colorado strip club Shotgun Willie's was postponed after a defense lawyer didn't survive a trip to Shotgun Willie's. CBS Colorado reports that 70-year-old attorney Stephen Long, who was representing the Glendale club in several matters, including a wrongful death lawsuit over the death of a Kroger executive at the club in 2019, was found unresponsive in his vehicle in the club's parking lot on Sept. 30. According to a police report, Long spent around two hours in the club that night, where he had a few drinks and played cards with a female entertainer who told officers he seemed "to be presenting as extremely intoxicated very quickly."

An employee who said Long was "acting crazy" began to take him home but decided to bring him back and let him sleep in his car, where employees checked on him every 5 to 10 minutes, the Guardian reports. Employees called 911 after finding him unconscious and not breathing. At a hearing last week, Arapahoe County District Court Judge Peter Michaelson agreed to delay the trial, the Denver Post reports. "The timing of this was just awful for everybody," Peter Middleton, another attorney for the club, told the judge. "Mr. Long passed away at Shotgun Willie’s, I guess, which is kind of weird." He said Long, an experienced trial attorney, would have played a major role in the case.

The club is being sued for around $5 million over the death of 48-year-old Randall Wright in May 2019. He got into a fight with another customer, which led to a chase through the club. He died soon after he was tackled by bartender Derek Hendricks. Wright's family says he died because Hendricks put him in a dangerous chokehold, the Post reports. Defense lawyers say he died because of a bad heart. (More strip club stories.)

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