July 8, 2014 10:27:16 AM
JACKSON -- A Hinds County deputy has been indicted on a manslaughter charge in the death of a youth basketball coach, two months after the men fought outside a gymnasium in northeast Jackson.
Joshua Adams, 37, originally was charged with murder when Justin Griffin, 25, died after the two men fought May 4 at the Mississippi Basketball and Athletics gym. Griffin died May 5.
District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith said Monday that a grand jury indicted Adams for the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Griffin was coaching a youth team and Adams was a referee.
Police said a fight started amid a dispute about the officiating of a game.
Adams' attorney Gerald Mumford has said the deputy, who was off-duty at the time, was acting in self-defense.
"It's self-defense simply because my client was struck three times before he struck anybody," Mumford told WAPT-TV in mid-May.
Adams was released on $50,000 bond, and his wife, Chandra Adams, told WAPT (http://bit.ly/1jZKtYS ) that he has been on leave without pay.
The fight was caught on a security camera at the gym.
The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/1qONlz7 ) reports the video showed Griffin enter the top corner of the picture in fighting stance. When Adams came into view, Griffin threw at least three punches to Adams' face. Adams appeared to be attempting to block the punches and holding Griffin off with his left hand, and finally threw one punch with his right hand that ended the fight. It appeared that Adams hit Griffin in the chin.
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