A mother’s anguish was evident at the opening of a second-degree murder trial for the man accused of killing a Calgary Stampeders player.
Renee Hill, who travelled from Detroit, wailed as the Crown outlined how her son Mylan Hicks died outside a city nightclub on Sept. 25, 2016.
Nelson Tony Lugela, 21, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Hicks, a 23-year-old defensive back who was on the practice roster for the Stampeders.
The Detroit-born Hicks, a former Michigan State Spartan, was found in critical condition after being shot outside the Marquee Beer Market in Calgary.
He died a short time later in hospital.
The Crown says it plans to call 33 witnesses and the trial is scheduled to last two weeks.
Investigators have said a fight inside the club spilt outside into the parking lot where Hicks was gunned down.
Police said Lugela and two other suspects were taken into custody after returning to the scene shortly after the shooting took place. The other two suspects were released.
Police seized a firearm at the scene.
A number of Stampeders players are expected to testify at the trial, which was purposely delayed until after the recent Grey Cup game which Calgary won.
Fellow defensive back and teammate Jamar Wall changed his jersey number from 29 to 31, the number Hicks wore, for the rest of the 2016 season to honour him. The week following the shooting, every CFL team held a moment of silence.