Trial starts for former Wake Forest assistant coach accused of punching, killing Raleigh native

Opening statements start Wednesday in New York in the case of a former Wake Forest basketball coach.

Jamill Jones is accused of punching one-time Raleigh native Sandor Szabo and knocking him to the sidewalk in August 2018 in Queens.

Wake Forest University assistant basketball coach charged in New York punch that killed Florida tourist

Szabo later died from his injuries.

Szabo's mother said she's made about 15 trips to New York from Raleigh since then and she said she'll be there as the trial begins continuing to advocate for stronger laws

"I know he'd fight for me in this way because that's the person he was," said Donna Kent, Sandor's mother. "The grief never leaves you: it takes your breath away every second of the day."

Right now Jones is also charged with third-degree assault, which is a misdemeanor.

Kent said during the visits she's had to sit in a traffic court-type of setting because of the lesser charge.

"It's pretty humiliating," she said. "It's just unbelievable that this state takes this offense so lightly. There has to be a stronger penalty. We can't look at what intentions are. Well did he intend to do it? I didn't intend to break my grandma's teapot when I was little but boy did I get a whupping from it."

Kent said she's hopeful to change the inconsistencies in the law all across the country
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.