REVEALED: What happens next in Ballina tragic death case
The NSW Office of Director of Public Prosecutions has decided to proceed with prosecuting one of the men charged with being involved in the death of an East Lismore man in 2019.
Tyrese Hickling, 20, appeared before Lismore Local Court on Monday via video link from Clarence Correctional Centre where he is on remand.
He is charged with affray, assault occasioning actual bodily harm in the company of others and common assault.
Police allege Mr Hickling was involved in a fight near Hill and Park street, East Ballina on December 23, 2019 which resulted in the death of 24-year-old Jesse Vilkelis-Curas.
During the fight, police allege Mr Vilkelis-Curas suffered "catastrophic head injuries" and was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital before being taken off life-support on Boxing Day and died.
Mr Hickling is yet to enter a plea for these charges.
His solicitor, Rachel Thomas, told the court the DPP has since decided elected to take over the case which has further delayed court proceedings.
"It's changed the manner of this matter," she said.
Meanwhile, he was convicted on Monday for a separate matter of driving without a licence and driving with a middle range PCA.
He'd previously pleaded guilty to those two charges.
Ms Thomas said Mr Hickling had "acknowledged" he had "issues with alcohol" and was working on attending a residential rehab while he'd been on bail for the affray and common assault charges.
However, she said he had realised he had slipped up when police confronted him about the driving offences and he admitted to police how much alcohol he had drunk and that he was the driver.
"He'd been trying his very best, clearly (his actions) reflects that he has an issue with alcohol," Ms Thomas said.
Mr Hickling was convicted without penalty for the driving offences but he was disqualified from holding a driver's licence for three months.
Mr Hickling did not apply for bail and will next appear before court on April 14.