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Fatal punch at Vegas casino called self-defense



LAS VEGAS >> The wife of a Florida high school football coach being held on a murder charge in Nevada says her husband was defending himself when he threw a punch that killed a Utah man in a Las Vegas Strip casino.

Leticia Hawkins tells The Associated Press that 46-year-old John Massie of Roy, Utah, wouldn’t leave her husband alone as the two men exited a restroom at O’Sheas Las Vegas Casino early Wednesday.

She and her husband, 37-year-old Benjamin Hawkins, are from Gainesville, Fla.

Benjamin Hawkins told police Massie commented about a “black man in a yellow shirt” in the restroom, and challenged him in a food court area.

Hawkins is accused of killing Massie with a single punch to the jaw.

Hawkins is black. Massie was white.

Hawkins is jailed pending a bail hearing Tuesday.



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