Tourist accused of punching man to death testifies in court
Benjamin Gerard Hawkins spent several hours on the stand Thursday, explaining and defending what happened at O'Sheas on the Las Vegas Strip in July 2011.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Benjamin Gerard Hawkins spent several hours on the stand Thursday, explaining and defending what happened at O'Sheas on the Las Vegas Strip in July 2011.
Hawkins said he left Florida, landed in Las Vegas and eventually headed to the Strip with friends after a few drinks.
At midnight, Hawkins said his group walked to O'Sheas.
As he was in the bathroom, he described a man (now known to be 38-year-old John Massie of Utah) making racial comments.
Hawkins said he told Massie to leave him alone and not touch him.
As both men walked out of the bathroom, more words were exchanged by the men. Hawkins said he tried to walk away, but turned and punched when he felt like Massie was coming up behind him.
Hawkins claims Massie had a pre-existing head injury that caused the punch to be fatal.
A coroner also described how Massie died due to trauma to his brain sustained when his head hit the floor.
In the meantime, the prosecution tried tearing apart Hawkins' testimony be pointing our discrepancies in his and other witnesses reports, and what he told police the night of the incident.
The jury will have to take all of this into consideration as they decide if Hawkins is guilty of involuntary manslaughter.