Jury Finds Coach Guilty in Vegas Casino Death

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A Nevada jury found a former Florida high school football coach guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a Utah man he knocked down in a Las Vegas casino with a single punch.

Benjamin Gerard Hawkins's wife and other family members sobbed at Friday's verdict in Clark County District Court.

The case stemmed from the July 2011 death of 46-year-old John Massie.

Hawkins's lawyer says he'll seek probation. But Hawkins could face up to four years in prison at sentencing Feb. 14.

Massie's sister, Mary Vinup, says the case affected two families.

Hawkins is black. Massie was white.

The two men exchanged words in a restroom at O'Shea's Casino before Hawkins punched Massie once in the jaw.

Massie died after his head hit the floor.

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