Former Wake Forest assistant coach Jamill Jones sentenced to probation for New York punching death

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Thursday, July 23, 2020
No jail time for former Wake Forest coach for NYC punching death
Former Wake Forest University assistant basketball coach Jamill Jones was sentenced to probation, community service and a fine on Thursday in the punching death of a one-time Ralei

QUEENS, N.Y. (WTVD) -- A former Wake Forest University assistant basketball coach was sentenced to probation, community service and a fine on Thursday in the punching death of another man.

Jamill Jones, 37, was convicted in February of punching one-time Raleigh native Sandor Szabo and knocking him to the sidewalk in August 2018 in Queens, New York.

Szabo, who was visiting from Florida, died later from his injuries. The 35-year old was a digital marking guru at What If Media.

Jamill Jones appears in court Thursday.

Sentencing was originally set for March 18, but was delayed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Jones was sentenced to three years probation, 1,500 hours of community service, a $1,000 fine and court costs. He will not serve any prison time.

The incident happened early morning in August 2018 when Szabo banged on a car window. Initial reports said Szabo may have mistaken Jones' SUV for his Uber.

During the course of the trial, testimony from various witnesses said that Szabo, who was in town for a wedding, had a blood alcohol five times the legal limit and two other people testified that they had been accosted by Szabo that night.

ABC11 learned in February that when Szabo pounded on the window, he may have shattered the rear windshield of Jones' vehicle, causing alarm for Jones and another person in the car.

Police said Jones got out of his vehicle and punched Szabo, who fell and hit his head suffering various traumatic injuries. He died at a hospital two days later.

"The defendant, in this case, was in his car parking near his hotel when the victim appeared near the defendant's vehicle, banged on the back and the rear window may have shattered," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. "The defendant could have driven away from the scene or call 911. Instead, he retaliated by getting out of his car and punching the victim. This was a death that could have been avoided, sparing the victim's family the loss of a loved one."

Donna Kent, Szabo's mother, told ABC11 in January that "It's just unbelievable that (New York) takes this offense so lightly. There has to be a stronger penalty."

Sandor Szabo left a well-remembered legacy in Raleigh, where he graduated and worked on numerous community projects.

Kent said she remains hopeful to change the inconsistencies in the law across the country.

Jones joined the Demon Deacons coaching staff in May 2017 after serving as an assistant coach at UCF under former Duke star Johnny Dawkins.

Wake Forest placed him on leave after the incident and Jones later resigned.