LAS VEGAS (AP) — The wife of a Florida high school football coach says her husband was defending himself with a punch that killed a Utah man in a Las Vegas Strip casino.
Benjamin Hawkins pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge in the death of 46-year-old John Massie early Wednesday at O’Sheas Las Vegas Casino.
Leticia Hawkins tells The Associated Press that Massie wouldn’t leave her 37-year-old husband alone as the two men exited a casino restroom.
Benjamin Hawkins told police that Massie commented about “a black man in a yellow shirt” in the restroom, and challenged him in a food court area.
Hawkins is black. Massie was white.
Hawkins is accused of killing Massie with a single punch to the jaw.
He’s jailed in Las Vegas pending a bail hearing Tuesday.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.