Two men celebrating a birthday murdered the honoree’s brother during a chaotic post-closing fight outside a Hollywood nightclub, with one punching and knocking the victim to the ground and the other stomping on his head, a prosecutor told jurors during his opening statement Monday, while defense attorneys countered that their clients were either under attack or coming to the defense of those who were.

A group of more than a dozen friends and family members were out celebrating the 30th birthday of Brandon Jelkes, whose 28-year-old brother, Devion, was killed in the aftermath during the early morning hours of Oct. 30, 2016. Because it was a couple of nights before Halloween, many of the partiers were in costume, dressed in a tutu or mouse ears or, in the case of defendant Dietrich Canterberry, now 36, as a king.

Canterberry and Brandon Jelkes rode together on a party bus to Couture at 1640 N. Cahuenga Blvd. The bus got into an accident en route and the entire group spent only 10-20 minutes inside the club before it closed, according to Canterberry’s defense attorney, Rick Richmond.

There was “no evidence that Dietrich was spoiling for a fight that night,” Richmond told the jury panel.

Deputy District Attorney Seth Carmack said there was “no real big drama inside the club” either.

But when the group moved onto the street, waiting for the bus to return, Jelke’s sister, Laporscha Marks, got into a shouting match with defendant Cordell Shields, now 37.

Shields punched her in the face and “knocks her unconscious,” Carmack said, showing jurors video of the scene from security cameras at the club.

Two other men then rushed at Shields, who punched one of them, knocking him to the ground.

Devion Jelkes then came running over, prompting several other people to go after Jelkes while “Devion Jelkes is running away.” Later, while Jelkes was on the ground, “you can see Shields run up and stomp him in the head,” the prosecutor told jurors.

Jelkes suffered blunt force trauma and was pronounced dead at a hospital within 40 minutes of the fight, according to Richmond.

A witness will testify that she saw Canterberry punch Jelkes and knock him to the ground and then witnessed Shields stomp on him, according to Carmack, who urged the jury to find the pair guilty of murder.

Shields is also facing two counts of assault causing great bodily injury.

Richmond countered that Canterberry is “no murderer. In fact, he’s not guilty of any crime at all.”

The fight happened in a “handful of seconds” and Canterberry was quietly waiting and smoking a cigar next to the party bus and “did not move … until after Laporscha Marks was knocked out … until after at least three men were attacking Cordell Shields,” Richmond said. “What the video footage will show you (is that) Dietrich came to the aid of someone who was already under attack.”

The defense attorney, who is working pro bono and represents only Canterberry, said “Shields fought back when he was attacked” but also told the panel that Shields punched Jelkes in the face three times, threw him down on the street, kicked him twice and stomped on his head.

Jelkes then got up and ran off toward Canterberry and “collided” with him, something Richmond said an expert in accident reconstruction would testify about.

Shield’s attorney Killain Jones told jurors there are “essentially two trials happening here” and urged the panel “to be very critical of this evidence.”

Characterizing the fight as “one giant piece of chaos” with “multiple people coming at Mr. Shields,” Jones said Jelkes crashed into Canterberry and then hit his head.

“You will see that the prosecution’s case is lacking … and you will see that Mr. Shields is not guilty of murder,” Jones concluded.

If convicted as charged, Shields faces 26 years to life in prison and Canterberry faces a possible 25-to-life term. Shields remains jailed on $2.05 million bail, while Canterberry posted bond and was released about 10 months after his arrest, according to sheriff’s online jail records.

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