This is a 2015 photo of Mylan Hicks of the San Francisco 49ers NFL football team. A man charged in the 2016 shooting death of a Canadian Football League player is scheduled to stand trial today. Nelson Tony Lugela, 21, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Mylan Hicks, a 23-year-old defensive back who was on the practice roster of the Calgary Stampeders. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP

Trial to begin for accused in fatal shooting of CFL player

Mylan Hicks died in 2016 outside the Marquee Beer Market in Calgary

The trial of a man accused of fatally shooting a Canadian Football League player is to start today.

Nelson Tony Lugela, 21, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Mylan Hicks, a 23-year-old defensive back who was on the practice roster for the Calgary Stampeders.

The trial is scheduled to last two weeks.

The Detroit-born Hicks, a former Michigan State Spartan, was found in critical condition after being shot outside the Marquee Beer Market in Calgary in the early hours of Sept. 25, 2016.

He died a short time later in hospital.

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Investigators have said a fight inside the club spilled 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.

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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.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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