Family members battled back and forth both in the courtroom and on the street after Melvin Kenneth Roberts, 34, made a brief appearance before a judge yesterday.

Roberts is charged with manslaughter after emergency personnel were called to 6 Queen St. in Amherst on Sunday morning to a possible cardiac arrest.

There, the body of 47-year-old Paul Douglas Arsenault was found.

“The preliminary findings of the autopsy provided us with sufficient grounds to lay charges,” Amherst deputy police chief Ian Naylor said yesterday.

Sgt. David Lepper, the lead investigator in the case, said Roberts and Arsenault were known to one another.

“From our investigation, we were able to determine there is a relationship between the accused and the victim,” Lepper said. “The victim was an uncle to the accused.”

Lepper also added Roberts, while originally from the area, had left town more than 10 years ago to move to Ontario.

“He came back to Amherst a couple of days ago,” Lepper said.

During Roberts’ court appearance, Arsenault’s daughter left the courtroom. Another woman ran after her.

Defence counsel Stephanie Hillson said she had discussions with both her client and the Crown, however she was requesting an adjournment as not all the disclosure was ready.

As Roberts was being escorted by sheriffs back to cells, another family member called him a “creep” and exchanged words with Roberts’ mother.

Two plainclothes officers, along with sheriffs, had to escort the victim’s son from the courtroom as well.

Out on the street, the family members exchanged more words, with two additional on-duty police officers arriving along with another plainclothes officer.

Roberts will appear in court tomorrow for a bail hearing.