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Suspect in baseball bat beating claims innocence

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A Brunswick County man charged in connection with a baseball bat beating that killed another man says he is innocent.

William Connolly is speaking out. He says he is just a good samaritan who is falsely accused.

Connolly says he was at home New Year's Day when he heard a fight in the street and ran to help. He found his neighbor and men he did not know fighting in the street on Farm Meadows Road near Leland.

Deputies charged one man, Boyd Harrelson, with second degree murder in the death of Hartford Talmadge "Tee" Sellers III, who detectives say Harrelson beat with a baseball bat.

Connelly says when detectives called him, he thought it was as a witness, but he turned out to be a suspect.

"I didn't do it," Connolly said. "I touch nobody. I didn't put my hands on anybody. I didn't have any weapon. But the detectives, because I reckon they don't have anybody, have put me in there."

Connolly is charged with assault. He is currently out of jail under a $5,000 bond.

According to his obituary, Sellers's family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. at Worthington Funeral Home in Chadbourn. A graveside service will be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. at the Boswell-Strickland Cemetery in the New Hope community.

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