Jury finds man guilty of involuntary manslaughter in O'Sheas death
A local jury has decided the fate of Benjamin Hawkins. Video by ktnv.comvideo
A local jury is now in deliberation, in the case of a Florida man, accused of killing another man with a single punch at O'Sheas on the Las Vegas Strip last year. Video by ktnv.comvideo
A local jury has found Benjamin Hawkins guilty of involuntary manslaughter, surrounding the punching death case at O'Sheas. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A local jury has decided the fate of Benjamin Hawkins.
He punched a man who died inside O'Sheas back in July 2011.
The jury found Hawkins guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Closing arguments were presented before the jury Friday morning.
The defense argued Hawkins felt threatened by racist remarks uttered by the victim, John Massie of Utah, inside the casino bathroom.
They call the punch, that led to Massie hitting his head on the floor, self defense.
But, prosecutors said Massie never made a move against the Florida high school football coach.
Hawkins is allowed to return to Florida until his sentencing in mid-February.
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A local jury has found Benjamin Hawkins guilty of involuntary manslaughter, surrounding the punching death case at O'Sheas.
The jury deliberated for two hours before reaching a verdict, in the case of the Florida man, accused of killing another man with a single punch at O'Sheas on the Las Vegas Strip last year.
The jury heard closing arguments Friday morning, before heading into deliberation.
Before that, the prosecution called one more witness to the stand, a friend of the victim, John Massie.
That was the last witness called, but on Thursday, the accused, Benjamin Hawkins, explained and defended himself before the jury, saying the 38-year-old man from Utah started harassing him in the bathroom of O'Sheas Casino in July 2011.
Several witnesses described hearing Massie mention something about "black guys in yellow shirts."
Hawkins said he told Massie to leave him alone and not to touch him.
Exiting the bathroom, he said Massie again said something to him, and as he walked away he felt threatening, and subsequently turned and punched Massie.
The coroner said he died as a result of trauma when his head hit the floor.
Hawkins declares he was just defending himself.
Now that Hawkins has been found guilty, a sentencing date has been set for Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013.
The family of the victim wants Hawkins to go back to Florida until his sentencing.