Mom of man fatally punched by Wake Forest coach sues him, university

Monday, August 10, 2020
No jail time for former Wake Forest coach for NYC punching death
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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

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The mother of a New York tourist who was fatally punched has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a former assistant men's basketball coach at Wake Forest University as well as the school itself.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday in New York.

Donna Kent of Raleigh is seeking compensatory, statutory and punitive damages against Jamill Jones as well as the university.

Jones was sentenced in New York in July to three years of probation in the death of Sandor Szabo in August 2018.

Authorities said Szabo, who may have been intoxicated, banged on the window of Jones' SUV. Police said Jones got out, punched Szabo and sped off.

Szabo, a one-time Raleigh resident, fell and hit his head. He never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at a hospital two days later. Szabo, 35, who was visiting from Florida, was a digital marking guru at What If Media.

The lawsuit said Jones was in the city on a recruiting trip. The school has previously said that Jones' trip was personal.

John Pierce, one of Kent's attorneys, said in a statement that the lawsuit is "the only means to obtain justice for Mr. Szabo and his family who have suffered tremendously with his death."

The newspaper could not reach Jones for comment. Chris Renfroe of New York City, one of Jones' criminal defense attorneys, declined to comment. Cheryl Walker, a university spokeswoman, said the school will not comment on the "pending litigation at this time."

Kent 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.

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.

NOTE: Video is from a previous report.