A San Carlos man accused of beating a man to death outside of a Belmont bar last year has pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter, prosecutors said today. Joseph Kaufman, 24, entered the plea in a Redwood City courtroom on Thursday in connection with the fatal beating of 48-year-old Barney Hanepen outside of the Lariat Tavern at 1428 El Camino Real around 2:15 a.m. on April 29, 2013.
He faces a 14-year prison sentence, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors said the two had been separately drinking at the bar and after closing hours, they began arguing outside of the business over Hanepen’s female friend.
The dispute turned violent and Kaufman punched the victim in the face, knocked him to the ground and repeatedly kicked him in the head, according to prosecutors. Hanepen was taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries three days later. Police arrested Kaufman the same day and took him to county jail in Redwood City. Kaufman’s sentencing is scheduled for May 23.
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