CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - What should have been a first appearance for a Charlotte man suspected of murder turned into a melee when a fight broke out Tuesday afternoon.
Thirty-year-old Raphael White was slated to have his first appearance before a judge after he turned himself in to police over the weekend.
White is accused in the death of 27-year-old Bias Easley. Easley was killed along the 800-block of Farmhurst Drive on June 5.
Tuesday afternoon, a fight broke out between White's family and Easley's family in the courtroom.
A WBTV photographer in the courtroom says someone yelled and two men ran towards the front of the courtroom and were throwing punches. Courtroom deputies tried to break the men up, but couldn't.
That's when he said more family members began arguing with one another saying "He should have never been in there, he should have been in jail anyways," referring to White's brother Trevor.
Trevor White, 28, is charged with accessory after the fact in Easley's death. He turned himself in to police in July.
One woman in the courtroom began to cry, while another one fanned herself during the melee.
More deputies were called to the courtroom and everyone was told to leave. Captain Charles Yongue of Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office is a part of the courthouse security team.
"The deputies had sensed the tension what was going to occur in the courtroom," Yongue said, "They immediately got on the radio and called for some additional help before the incident occurred."
Raphael White was denied bond and charged with the murder. Meanwhile, Easley's brother is facing charges as a result of the courtroom fight.
Last week, Easley's mother, Doris, made a public plea for White to turn himself in.
"My son was a beautiful, beautiful man," she said. "Mr. Raphael White, if you're out here. I just beg you and ask you to turn yourself in, and do the right thing."
She said she was shocked by the commotion in the courtroom on Tuesday.
"It's a lot of emotions," she said. "It's a lot of hurt people."
Easley says her son was killed in an apartment complex parking lot after he was accused of smiling at White's girlfriend.
Easley was an officer at the Lanesboro Correctional Institution in Anson County.