An Anaheim man was convicted Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal beating of a man outside a Hollywood nightclub after a birthday celebration.
Dietrich Canterberry, 36, was acquitted of a second-degree murder charge stemming from Devion Jelkes’ October 2016 death, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Canterberry is facing up to four years in state prison, with sentencing set for Sept. 5 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
Co-defendant Cordell Shields, 37, is still awaiting trial in connection with the 28-year-old man’s death, along with two counts of assault causing great bodily injury.
Shields was initially being tried with Canterberry, but Superior Court Judge William Sterling declared a mistrial in his portion of the case earlier this month.
Deputy District Attorney Seth Carmack told jurors that Canterberry and Shields were among a group of people celebrating the 30th birthday of the victim’s brother, Brandon Jelkes, and that Jelke’s sister, Laporscha Marks, got into a shouting match with Shields.
Shields punched the woman in the face and “knocks her unconscious,” the prosecutor said, showing jurors video of the scene from security cameras at the club.
Two other men then rushed at Shields, who allegedly punched one of them, knocking him to the ground.
Devion Jelkes then went running over, prompting several other people to go after Jelkes while “Devion Jelkes is running away,” according to the prosecutor. While Jelkes was on the ground, “you can see Shields run up and stomp him in the head,” the prosecutor told jurors.
Canterberry’s attorney, Rick Richmond, countered that Canterberry was “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.”
Canterberry’s lawyer told jurors that “Shields fought back when he was attacked” but also said 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, according to Richmond.
Before the mistrial was declared in his client’s portion of the case, Shields’ attorney, Killain Jones, characterized the fight as “one giant piece of chaos” with “multiple people coming at Mr. Shields” and said Jelkes crashed into Canterberry and then struck his head.
Jones called the prosecution’s case “lacking.”