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Basketball Coach Slapped With Wrongful Death Lawsuit For Throwing Fatal Punch in Long Island City

Jamill Jones (Wake Forest University)

Aug. 10, 2020 By Christian Murray

A basketball coach who killed a man in Long Island City two years ago with a single punch to the head has been slapped with a lawsuit by the victim’s mother.

Jamill Jones, a former assistant basketball coach, and Wake Forest University where he worked have both been named as defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit that was filed in Queens County Court last week.

The plaintiff Donna Kent is seeking damages from Jones as well as Wake Forest University for the death of her son Sandor Szabo, 35, who was fatally punched during the early hours of Aug. 5, 2018.

Jones was convicted of third-degree assault in February for the crime and was sentenced last month to 3-years’ probation, 1,500 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine.

The sentence was criticized by Kent in her lawsuit as being too lenient.

“A civil action is now the only means to obtain justice,” reads the lawsuit.

The coach fatally punched Szabo, of Boca Raton, FL., after the victim was heading back to his Long Island City hotel and drunkenly banged on Jones’ white 2019 BMW, according to court testimony in the criminal trial.

Szabo, as described in Kent’s lawsuit, had attended his step-sister’s wedding at the Foundry in Long Island City the night of his death.

The wedding party then went to the Paper Factory Hotel in Long Island City to continue their festivities and when the victim caught a Lyft back to the Howard Johnson hotel on 12th Street where he was staying he was mistakenly dropped off at 29th Street and 41st Avenue.

Szabo then sought another Lyft to get to the Howard Johnson.

Szabo’s family believes he was looking for his ride share vehicle and mistakenly thumped on Jones’ car thinking it was his ride.

Szabo ran off after thumping Jones’ car, according to the suit, but was chased down. Then Jones — at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds — punched a 5-foot-10 and 183 pound Szabo in the face in front of 41-10 29th St., according to the lawsuit.

The punch caused Szabo to fall to the ground and hit his head on the concrete pavement.

The lawsuit, referring to video footage, said that Jones saw Szabo on the ground unconscious with his legs twitching and blood coming from his ears but drove off. Jones’ fiancee was with him in the BMW.

Szabo was taken to a nearby hospital for a skull fracture, traumatic brain injuries and a laceration on his chin. He died of his injuries two days later.

Kent, who didn’t specify in the lawsuit the amount of damages she seeks, wants to be compensated by Jones and Wake Forest University for her son’s funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and the income he would have earned over his lifetime.

Click here to see the lawsuit

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