Former College Football Player Convicted of Beating Man to Death Outside Hollywood Nightclub

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After three days of deliberation, a jury found an Anaheim man guilty on Tuesday of beating another man to death outside a Hollywood nightclub in 2016, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Dietrich Canterberry, 36, was convicted of one count of involuntary manslaughter and will be sentenced on Sept. 5. He faces up to four years in state prison.

He has been identified by the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a former player for the football team at University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a native of Lynwood.

The deadly encounter happened the day before Halloween in 2016, at about 2:30 a.m., when a fight broke out near Hollywood and Cahuenga boulevards, authorities said.

Canterberry attacked and beat 28-year-old Devion Jelkes, according to prosecutors, with Jelkes later dying from his injuries at a nearby hospital. Police have said another man named Cordell Shields also fought Jelkes alongside Canterberry.

A man was killed when a deadly fight broke out in Hollywood on Oct. 30, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)
A man was killed when a deadly fight broke out in Hollywood on Oct. 30, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

At the time, Los Angeles police said a conflict first arose between the men after some women who they were with got into an argument. They repeatedly punched and kicked Jelkes, and at some point, he fell and hit his head on a curb, police said.

Canterberry fled the scene on a party bus while Jelkes was left lying unconscious in the street as first responders arrived, officials said. His friends had tried to help save him but he later died from his injuries.

Meanwhile, Canterberry was arrested a short time later.

Just two days after the brutal attack, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges against him and 35-year-old Shields.

When announcing those charges, the DA’s office alleged Shields had punched Jelkes’ sister, Laporscha Marks, in the face as she was trying to get inside a car. Jelkes was running towards his sister when Canterberry and Shields attacked him.

Since Canterberry was initially facing a murder charge, prosecutors perviously said his maximum prison sentence could be 25 years to life in prison. He has instead been convicted of involuntary manslaughter and faces four years at most.

No further information has been released by the DA’s office.

Editor’s note: The attorney representing Canterberry disputes information in this article, saying the news release from the L.A. County DA’s office contained inaccuracies that were reported in the story. On July 17, 2018, attorney Rick Richmond of Jenner & Block LLP’s Los Angeles office issued a statement about the story to KTLA. In part, the statement from Richmond read:

“All sides agree, and the video evidence shown during trial confirms, that there was only one contact between Mr. Canterberry and Devion Jelkes.  A coroner, serving as a witness for the prosecution, testified there was no evidence of internal or external injuries indicating that Mr. Canterberry punched Mr. Jelkes. An accident reconstruction expert also testified the contact between the two was not a punch. Video evidence also shows that Mr. Canterberry did not kick Mr. Jelkes. … The article also quotes from an earlier story that stated Mr. Canterberry and another man ‘repeatedly punched and kicked Jelkes,’ actions in which Mr. Canterberry did not participate, according to evidence shown during trial.”

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