The case of a 20-year-old Casper man charged with second-degree murder in the death of a University of Wyoming student is heading to Albany County District Court.

Dalton Williams appeared before Albany County Circuit Court Judge Robert Castor yesterday for his preliminary hearing. Williams stands accused of striking Joseph McGowan, a 21-year-old UW art student from Lander, during a Halloween brawl in Laramie at an off-campus residence. McGowan fell as a result of the hit, striking his head on the pavement.  McGowan later died of his injuries at the Medical Center of the Rockies.

According to court documents, Williams allegedly told Laramie Police that he was involved in the fight and that he saw someone walking toward him “at a quick rate of speed.” He stated that he reacted by hitting the man, later identified as McGowan, in the left temple. He said that once struck, McGowan went rigid and fell to the ground. Williams acknowledged that McGowan did not act aggressively before being hit.

Judge Castor ruled that there is enough evidence to bring the case to District Court. In addition, the state has presented an alternative charge of manslaughter, which will also move forward.

Second Degree Murder is a felony punishable of no less than 20 years to life imprisonment. Manslaughter is also a felony punishable of imprisonment for not more than 20 years.

Williams will be arraigned in District Court at a later date.