There was heightened security Tuesday at Truro provincial court as Dustan Joseph Preeper was arraigned on a charge of second-degree murder.
Preeper, 22, had originally been charged with manslaughter in the beating death of Ben Hare.
The charge was upgraded Monday as the result of the medical examiner's autopsy report, ongoing investigation and consultation with prosecutors.
About two dozen extra police officers and sheriffs kept relatives and friends of Preeper away from Hare's relatives and friends during the short court appearance. Police had to break up several verbal confrontations between the two groups in the hallway and in the parking lot.
People entering the courthouse had to pass through a metal detector. Truro police cars escorted the sheriff's van that took Preeper back to jail.
Preeper was remanded until his next court appearance on July 20.
Hare, 26, was found dead at an apartment building on Lyman Street near Truro's Victoria Park after police responded to several 911 calls just after 2 a.m. on Thursday.
Police described the incident as a brawl.