Jury views surveillance video in 1-punch casino death case - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Jury views surveillance video in 1-punch casino death case

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The trial of a former Florida high school teacher accused of manslaughter continued Wednesday.

Benjamin Gerard Hawkins allegedly killed John Massie with a single punch after a verbal argument inside the O'Sheas casino on July 6, 2011.

Massie worked on an Air Force base in Utah.

"This could be anything from a self-defense to a murder," Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Detective Jeff Rosgen testified on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the second day of the trial, the jury viewed video of the incident captured by surveillance cameras inside O'Sheas.

Since the video had no audio, Rosgen said investigators have little evidence on exactly what was said.

"There are some witnesses that were being interviewed by other detectives that were present at the scene. But the only witness that was there for the entire thing was Mr. Hawkins," Rosgen testified.

Hawkins claimed Massie entered the casino bathroom, saw him and said, "And then there was a black man in a yellow shirt."

In court Wednesday, Rosgen read a transcript of what Hawkins told police after he was arrested.

"Some random drunk guy starts throwing racial slurs at me, I'm like, 'You don't even know me, get the (expletive) away from me,'" Rosgen read from the transcript of what Hawkins told police.

The video shows what happened after both men left the restroom.

Massie's death was ruled a result of blunt force trauma to the head, likely caused by his fall.

Hawkins told detectives he felt threatened.

"If I didn't think he was going to do something to me, I would have just left," Rosgen read from the transcript of what Hawkins told police.

While prosecutors tried to paint the actions by Hawkins as a quote "sucker punch," his defense attorney was quick to point out Hawkins' sorrow.

"I am greatly sad about what happened to him, but I didn't know what he was going to do to me, so I just swung," Rosgen read from the transcript of what Hawkins told police.

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