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No Answers Yet on Christmas Eve Beating Death

After autopsy, coroner says more tests needed in death of man who died following December assault.

Northampton County's coroner says he's not yet ready to release the cause and manner of death of a man who died following a fight in Easton on Christmas Eve.

Andres Ruiz-Avelizapa was beaten unconscious on the 400 block of Northampton Street last month, and died Monday at Easton Hospital, having never regained consciousness. 

An autopsy was performed Wednesday on Ruiz-Avelizapa, coroner Zach Lysek said, but added results are pending additional tests. 

Easton police say they found Ruiz-Avelizapa, 52, unconscious in the street just before 1 a.m. on December 24. Witnesses told police they saw Antonio Ortiz assault Ruiz-Avelizapa and knock him to the ground.

Police say Ortiz initially said he had no contact with Ruiz-Avelizapa, but later told investigators Ruiz-Avelizapa had pushed him, and that Ortiz had pushed back.

Ortiz, 33, of 462 Northampton St., was arrested at the scene and charged with assault.

Prosecutors are waiting for the coroner's ruling before deciding whether to file additional charges against Ortiz in Ruiz-Avelizapa's death.  

If Lysek rules the death a homicide, it would make it the sixth homicide case recorded in Easton for 2012. 

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