TWIN FALLS -- Over 100 friends and family of a Twin Falls man who died over the weekend during a fight were at the first court appearance Tuesday of his accused killer.
Afterward, they stood outside the courthouse wanting answers, still coming to grips with what happened over the weekend.
The fight between Cayde Lish and Jerimiah Piaz happened just after midnight, early Saturday morning, at the Canyon Crest Dining and Event Center in Twin Falls.
Justin Aslett, who was best friends with Piaz, said the fight was over a racial slur Lish made towards Piaz.
"That's what made J.D. mad, because he's always been non-confrontational until something crosses the line," said Aslett.
Aslett spoke to Piaz's girlfriend who witnessed the fight. He says Lish stabbed Piaz 12 times.
"Murder two at least,” Aslett said. “He deserves life in prison, and that's the bare minimum. He does not deserve to see the light of day. He does not deserve any freedom.”
Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs says he can't comment on how many times Piaz was stabbed. Court documents claim Lish stabbed Piaz several times.
"My job and the job of police is to investigate these cases objectively and determine, based on the facts, what the appropriate course of action is," said Loebs.
That course of action is the voluntary manslaughter charge with a weapons enhancement, not the second-degree murder charge these friends and family of Piaz want.
"Individual decisions on whether to charge somebody or how much to charge them, you can't take a poll on that every time,” said Loebs. “We have to take that case by case, and look at them objectively based on the facts.”
Even still, Aslett and others are holding out for a stiffer penalty.
"Hope is all we have right now,” said Aslett. “I can't make the prosecutors do anything.”
Loebs says he understands the concern of Piaz's family and friends, but holds to the fact that this fight that resulted in Piaz's death, fits voluntary manslaughter and not first or second degree murder.
Lish is now in the Twin Falls County Jail on a $250,000 bond.
He'll be in court again on Oct. 12 for a preliminary hearing.
He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison, if convicted.