July 24, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A former Wake Forest basketball coach avoided jail time at his sentencing Thursday for the ‘one punch’ death of a Florida man in Long Island City two years ago.
Jamill Jones, 37, of North Carolina, was sentenced to three years’ probation, 1,500 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Thursday.
He was found guilty of third degree assault in February for slugging 35-year-old Sandor Szabo who died days later in 2018.
Szabo had just attended a family wedding and was walking near his hotel in Long Island City shortly after 1:40 a.m. on Aug. 5, 2018. He wandered over to Jones’ SUV and drunkenly banged on its rear window, according to trial testimony.
He ran off, but Jones got out of his car and chased him down. Jones, who was also staying in a hotel nearby, punched Szabo once in the face, causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head on the concrete pavement, according to testimony.
The Florida man 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.
Szabo’s family believes he was looking for his rideshare vehicle and mistakenly banged on Jones’ window.
District Attorney Katz condemned the violence in a statement.
“This was a tragic incident that ended the life of a man and devastated his family, a violent run-in that should never have happened,” she said. “Violence is never the answer to settling a dispute.”