Benjamin Hawkins, of Gainesville, Fl, charged with murder in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS -- A former Florida high school teacher and football coach says he felt threatened by a Utah man who taunted with derogatory racial comments and touched him on the chest and arm several times before he knocked the man to the floor of a Las Vegas casino.
Benjamin Gerard Hawkins testified Thursday that 38-year-old John Massie appeared intoxicated and wouldn't leave him alone until the single fatal punch in July 2011 at O'Shea's Casino.
Massie died after his head hit the floor.
Hawkins is standing trial for involuntary manslaughter.
Hawkins is black, from Gainesville, Fla. Massie was white and from Roy, Utah.
Hawkins says he felt he couldn't risk turning his back on Massie, and video shows the two men a few feet apart before Hawkins turns and throws the punch.