Reagan Asbury murder trial: Boxing night ‘like a 70s football match’
The atmosphere at a boxing match before the fatal stabbing of a teenage supporter was like ‘a stick of dynamite waiting for a spark’, a spectator has told a murder trial.
Christopher Mills, 49, the father of Derby contender Myron Mills, who was on a VIP table at the Walsall Town Hall event, told the jury: “It was like being at a 70s football match.”
A brawl broke out at the venue just before the announcement of the winner of the world title bout between Mills and local fighter Luke Paddock, with chairs and drinks hurled.
Minutes later, as the violence continued outside in Leicester Street, 19 year old Reagan Asbury, from Pelsall, was knifed in the neck. He died in hospital the next day.
Mr Mills, who runs nightclubs and restaurants, backed up a claim by the defence that the Walsall supporters were making monkey noises when his mixed-race son entered the ring.
Asked if he could have mistaken the sound for chants of ‘Luke, Luke, Luke’, he replied he could not. He told the trial at Birmingham Crown Court: “I’m a black man, I can distinguish when someone does a monkey chant.”
Amanda Hutchinson, a cousin of Myron Mills, said: “Normally the atmosphere at a fight is exciting but here it was hostile and put me on edge.
“The chants included ‘Get the monkey out of the ring’. It was racist chanting.”
The first missile, a beer cup, was thrown from the Walsall section of the crowd, she claimed.
“After that, everything happened so fast – chairs were thrown, and more beer glasses. It was mad, like a riot. I was scared,” she added.
Running outside to escape the violence she saw defendant Tyrone Andrew on the ground being kicked by five or six people. She said she shouted at his attackers to ‘get off him’ and turned momentarily to a friend and when she looked back again, Andrew was gone.
Andrew of St Helen’s Street, Derby, denies murder, wounding two others and attempting to stab a fourth man. Three co-defendants also deny charges associated with the violence that night. The trial continues.
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