A 25-year-old man allegedly assaulted outside ACT Corrective Services went home with blood seeping from his ear before he was found dead in bed a day later.
But police say there appears to be no connection between the man's death and his beating, allegedly at the hands of Emeka Okwechime.
The 33-year-old father is yet to enter a plea to one charge of affray, and prosecutors say he will also be charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Mr Okwechime, who has served prison sentences for several offences, fronted the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday via audio-visual link from a remote room.
His lawyer Adrian McKenna applied for bail on his behalf.
Mr McKenna said it would have been a very different story if Mr Okwechime had been linked to the man's death, but he should be granted bail given he only faced one relatively minor charge.
Police documents tendered to the court said the charge arose from an incident on October 16, only four days after Mr Okwechime had been released from prison.
The documents said Mr Okwechime entered the ACT Corrective Services building on London Circuit and spoke to staff at reception before he and the 25-year-old man talked in the waiting room.
The pair allegedly walked outside and the alleged victim handed Mr Okwechime at least $30 cash, before the 33-year-old hit the man three times in full view of the public.
The documents said the 25-year-old went back into the corrections building and wiped his ear with a tissue, before he went through with a scheduled meeting and later returned home.
About 2pm the next day, a friend found him dead in bed.
"A full post mortem was conducted, and formal results are pending, however it does not appear the injuries inflicted by the defendant caused the death of [the alleged victim]," the documents said.
Mr McKenna said Mr Okwechime had strong ties to the Canberra community, so the court could be assured he wouldn't flee the territory if granted bail.
The 33-year-old pleaded with Special Magistrate Margaret Hunter directly, telling her: "It just doesn't make me a better person when I go to jail. I don't like going to the [Alexander Maconochie Centre]."
He said: "I've got my son's birthday tomorrow ... I promise you ... I'm not a violent person at all."
Ms Hunter said the allegations suggested otherwise, and Mr Okwechime's history of breaching court orders demonstrated his "complete lack of regard" for them and the law itself.
"This is very bold, rash [alleged] offending and quite frankly, appalling in the circumstances," Ms Hunter said.
"When I first read the [police documents], I was concerned about the death of the young man ... but I understand that was coincidental.
"I must push that from my mind."
Nonetheless, Ms Hunter said the risk that Mr Okwechime would disregard bail conditions was too high. She refused him bail, to return to court on November 26.