A courtroom fracas broke out this morning as the family of a teenage boy who died after a downtown Auckland assault confronted the alleged killer.
The 30-year-old accused appeared briefly this morning in the High Court at Auckland before Justice Timothy Brewer when a trial date for later this year was confirmed.
However, when the defendant, who has interim name suppression and is on bail, left the dock he was confronted by the family of Eli Francis Holtz - the teen he is accused of killing.
"You killed my boy!" Holtz's father yelled at the defendant.
Security began to intervene and created a buffer between the father and accused.
The defendant was kept in the courtroom while security ushered out the family.
Holtz, 18, died in hospital after an assault at the intersection of Wellesley St West and Queen St in January.
Today is exactly five months since the incident, a fact that Holtz's family reminded the accused.
"You needed to hear that," a family member of Holtz told the 30-year-old.
The teen was firing water out the window of a car from a water pistol-style gun at people on the street before he was attacked when the car stopped at traffic lights at about 3.15am.
The man accused of assaulting Holtz appeared in court a few days later to face a manslaughter charge.
The alleged offender was initially charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm before the charge was upgraded.
Holtz, from Whangārei, attended Tikipunga High School and left the school last year.
He was one of seven children.
Holtz's eldest sister, Chanelle Armstrong, has earlier told the Herald her family was finding it really tough to deal with the sudden passing of the much-loved son, brother, uncle, boyfriend and friend.
"It is something we never expected to happen, especially to someone who was just so gentle and kind," she said.
"Nothing can be done to bring back my brother. It is just a tragedy everywhere."