Three young men accused of killing a 42-year-old father at a mini-golf course as his daughters looked on in horror appeared before a judge on Monday in Barrie, Ont.

Relatives of the victim say that the father was stabbed fatally with a broken golf club during a fight that erupted after he had asked a group of rowdy teens to settle down.

Bradley Hubbard, a 42-year-old from nearby Collingwood, died Sunday at the Barrie course as he was playing a round with his daughters and his wife.

The victim's father-in-law said that Hubbard was simply trying to enjoy an evening out with his family, but a group of young males was drinking and smashing golf clubs.

"My daughter told them to stop it because the girls were crying, that's how bad they were," said Brian Reid.

He added that with the children upset and Hubbard's wife concerned, the victim was simply trying to stand up for his family. Reid said that the group dismissed the comments rudely.

"They told her to go to hell. And then Bradley stepped up and said ‘not in front of my family.'"

After the violence erupted, Reid said his son-in-law lay on the ground, fatally injured with a neck wound.

"At least he died in his wife's arms," Reid said. "He got to tell her that he loved her before he passed away."

Police said Hubbard had no prior connection to the suspects.

Two 18-year-olds, Justin Spring and Jake Workman, along with 19-year-old Mathew Spring, were charged with second-degree murder early Sunday morning.

During their court appearance on Monday, the three were sobbing inside the prisoner's box, CTV Toronto's John Musselman reported.

The three men remain in custody and will be back in court on Wednesday.

Approximately 30 witnesses were interviewed on Saturday, and the indoor mini-putt course was still closed on Monday as investigators looked for evidence.

Meanwhile, friends and family members of the accused came to their defence outside the Barrie court on Monday.

Calista Spring, sister of two suspects, said "I've known these boys all my life (and) they are not these kinds of people."