Self-defense or murder? Eyewitness talks about basketball coach' - WNEM TV 5

Self-defense or murder? Eyewitness talks about basketball coach's death

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Justin Griffin  (Source: Facebook) Justin Griffin (Source: Facebook)
Joshua Adams  (Source: JPD) Joshua Adams (Source: JPD)
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There are conflicting reports on a fatal fight between a Hinds County deputy and basketball coach. The two were involved in a altercation Sunday, at the Mississippi Basketball and Athletics building in Jackson.

A Yazoo City woman called us after seeing surveillance video of the fistfight on our MSNewsNow website. In an exclusive telephone interview, she says 25 year old Justin Griffin, who died,  was the aggressor.

Kelly Cason first contacted us via email saying "I'm sorry for everyone for what happened at the MBA. I saw the whole incident there is no doubt it was self defense."

In our surveillance video, you can see the woman accompanied by her daughter, husband and friends heading to the gymnasium for a basketball game. The eyewitness tells us the limited view of the surveillance camera does not show how the Hinds County off-duty deputy, a security guard at the event tried to detain basketball coach Justin Griffin.

"We were all amazed at how the uniformed cop could not detain him. He just, no matter what the cop did the victim just broke free every time the cop got a hold of him to arrest him," said Cason. "He would break free and go after the referee."

A fatal blow ended the disturbance to the horror of witnesses at the basketball game. Justin Griffin's father and best friend disputed accounts the young coach started the fight.

"And I see my friend hit the ground and I hear this guy say 'sorry, write a report, say he attacked an officer." Julian Pickett said.

"We raised our kid, and he was a good kid and those thugs that were supposed to protect him, they killed him," said James Griffin, the victim's father, after seeing the attack on a video.

Hinds County deputy Joshua Adams who was reportedly refereeing a game, faces a murder charge in the death of the 25-year-old basketball coach. 

In court, Jackson Police investigator Tyree Jones testified that an autopsy report showed that Griffin died as a result of blunt force trauma,and strangulation.

The Deputy remains in jail with no bond. His case will be bound over to the next Hinds County Grand Jury.

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