Former high school coach gets 90 days for fatal punch - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Former high school coach gets 90 days for fatal punch

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Hawkins sits in court during a preliminary hearing. (FOX5 FILE) Hawkins sits in court during a preliminary hearing. (FOX5 FILE)

The Florida teacher who punched and killed a Utah man at O'Shea's back in 2011 was sentenced Thursday at the Regional Justice Center. Benjamin Hawkins was handed 90 days.

"Your sentence is suspended and you are placed on probation for a term of five years," said Judge Valerie Adair.

Hawkins punched Utah resident John Massie after the two exchanged words outside of an O'Shea's bathroom. Security footage showed Hawkins walked away after the initial exchange while Massie, who was drunk, followed. That's when Hawkins turned and punched Massie in the face. He never got up.

"He (Hawkins) was heard by a witness saying, 'What if I do this?' - at which point his fist connected with Mr. Massie's face," prosecutor Maria Lavell told the judge during pre-sentence arguments.

Hawkins also got to speak in court and turned to the Massie's children, who were sitting in court.

"I'd like to apologize to his family," he said.

Three of Massie's children also got to address the court.

"The victim of this crime was my father, and the things in life he will not get to experience are countless," said Jacqueline Williber, Massie's daughter

"He taught me right from wrong, how to be a good friend, how to shake someone's hand," said James Massie, Massie's son.

Massie was a decorated veteran who was awarded three Silver Stars during his military career.

Hawkins, a former high school football coach, lost his job after his arrest. He was found guilty during his trial in November.

Once he is released from the Clark County Detention Center, Hawkins will return to Gainesville, FL to serve out his probationary period, according to his attorney Jack Buchanan

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