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Florida teacher found guilty in O'Shea's punching death

Reported by: Denise Rosch
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Updated: 11/30/2012 6:36 pm
A jury came back with a guilty verdict today for a Florida teacher who threw a deadly punch in a strip casino. Benjamin Hawkins was convicted of involuntary manslaughter this afternoon. The jury dismissed his claims of self-defense. News 3's Denise Rosch joins us live from the Regional Justice Center and despite the verdict Hawkins is still being allowed to return to Florida.

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.

©2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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