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Miss. deputy charged in death of basketball coach

JACKSON, Miss. - A Mississippi deputy working as a referee for a recreation league basketball game punched one of the coaches and is charged in his death, police said Tuesday.

Justin Griffin, 25, died Monday after a fight over play calls that started on the court and moved into the parking lot, police said. Griffin died from blunt-force trauma to the head, Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart said.

Joshua Adams, 37, has been charged with murder, according to Jackson police.

The apparent altercation started during the game Sunday at the Mississippi Basketball and Athletics gym, Assistant Police Chief Lee Vance said.

At some point during the game, Griffin got into a dispute with the referee, police said. As the dispute escalated, a second deputy in uniform, working security for the facility, got involved as well.

Both deputies were off duty from the sheriff's department, Vance said.

Adams has been suspended pending an internal investigation, according to the sheriff's department.

It was unclear Tuesday whether Adams had an attorney.

Mississippi Basketball & Athletics facility in north Jackson is run by the nonprofit Mississippi Basketball and Athletics Foundation. The facility offers camps, clinics and training in basketball, volleyball and physical fitness.

A telephone call to the facility was answered by a recording that said its voice mail was full.

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