QUEENS — A 37-year-old basketball coach faces up to one year in jail for fatally punching a man in Queens, officials said Thursday.
Sandor Szabo, 35, had just left his sister's wedding when he was punched by Jamill Jones, a former assistant basketball coach at Wake Forest University, on Aug. 5, 2018. Jones was found guilty of misdemeanor assault.
“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," 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.”
Szabo suffered a laceration to his chin, a skull fracture and other traumatic brain injuries from the punch. He died two days later.
John Ryan, who acted as Queens District Attorney before Katz' election, said the law dealing with “one punch” deaths needs to be changed. He called on lawmakers to upgrade the charge to a felony.
Sentencing for Jones is set for March 18.