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Brawl erupts in Florida courtroom after ‘stand your ground’ hearing postponed

Published: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 9:39 a.m. CDT

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (MCT) — A brawl broke out in the Osceola County Courthouse just minutes after a “stand your ground” hearing was postponed in the first-degree murder case of a St. Cloud man charged with gunning down two brothers outside a bar.

More than 30 spectators, friends and relatives of the accused killer, Jayson Clair, and the dead Kun brothers had been asked to leave when shoving, punching and kicking began just outside Circuit Judge Jon Morgan’s courtroom.

Several men were handcuffed by sheriff’s deputies and a St. Cloud police officer who were caught in the midst of the brawl. One man complained of a broken jaw, and a woman screamed at one of the fighters, “Like father, like son.”

A WFTV-TV cameraman was caught in the middle and videotaped the punching and shoving, which ended with the St. Cloud officer taking one of the brawlers to the floor and a deputy sheriff mentioning that his finger had been sprained.

One of the punches or an elbow struck St. Cloud Police Detective Christian Anderson, who investigated the killings last year. He was hit in the back of the head, which the sheriff’s office determined had been unintentional, records show.

The fight began about 9:40 a.m. in an enclosed area outside the courtroom but separated by double doors leading to the courthouse’s fifth-floor corridor. For unknown reasons, both families and their friends were allowed to leave the courtroom together and congregate in the cramped area, where jostling and taunting began before the first shove.

The brawl is the latest outburst over the June 28, 2011, killings outside Len’s Dug-Out Pub, a popular yet rowdy 13th Street bar that was known for its Four-Beers-for-a-Buck special on Tuesday nights.

Several fights broke out that Tuesday night between the Kun brothers — 21-year-old Joel and James, 23 — and 27-year-old Clair, according to police. Clair claims he shot the men to protect his life, but police reports and witnesses state he left the bar, drove out of the parking lot and later returned with a handgun before the fatal confrontation.

After killing the brothers, Clair is accused of pointing his gun at their mother and threatening to shoot her, as well, according to interviews and court records. He remains held without bail in the county jail.

Emotions remain high in St. Cloud, a city of about 30,000 residents, where 652 people have posted online comments on a message board about the killings. The Kun brothers and Clair grew up in St. Cloud and attended the local high school.

After Monday’s fight, court records identified the brawlers as Clair’s stepfather, James “Zeke” Parker, 53, of Minneola, the dead brothers’ father, James Kun Sr., 45, of St. Cloud, and Kun family friend, Jeremy Milyon, 23, of St. Cloud. All were charged with affray, a misdemeanor.

Milyon is accused with starting the brawl by confronting and punching Parker, who responded, “You want a piece of me? Let’s go,” arrest reports stated. At least one woman was knocked off her feet when Kun joined the fight and traded punches with Parker.

Afterward, Milyon complained of a broken jaw was transported from the courthouse by ambulance to a local hospital, according to witnesses. He was treated for an undisclosed injury, released and booked at the Osceola County Jail along with Parker and Kun, according to the sheriff’s office.

All three were issued trespass warnings that will prevent them from attending the murder trial set to begin in mid-October. A date for the “stand your ground” hearing postponed Monday has not been set.

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