One-punch killer Jamill C Jones spared jail for Florida man's murder, judge says he had 'positive impact' on society
The former basketball coach got three years of probation as the court took note that he was mentoring young Black girls without fathers
A New York City judge sentenced an ex-Wake Forest University assistant basketball coach to three years of probation with no jail time after he killed a man with just one punch.
Jamill C Jones, 37, had been sentenced on July 23 for third-degree assault in the killing of Sandor Szabo, 35, back in 2018, Daily Mail reported. As a result of his crimes, Jones was facing a maximum of a year in jail. According to Judge Joanne B Watters, a jail sentence "would only serve to punish Jones" as she added, "it is my opinion that Mr Jones is repentant". Watters also cited "the positive impact Mr Jones has had on his community". His attorney, Eric Renfroe, revealed that he had mentored young Black girls without fathers.
Szabo's family, including his mother Donna Kent, was left shocked at the ruling. Kent had released a very emotional statement at the sentencing, which was done via a video conference given the coronavirus pandemic. In the statement, Kent said, "He will always be a murderer, a coward. No parent should ever have to endure this kind of torture."
Kent along with District Attorney Kirk A Sendlein, who had prosecuted the case, had both asked the judge to impose the maximum possible sentence of a year since the homicide was being charged as a misdemeanor. Judge Watters did say that this was an 'unusual case' while delivering her verdict. In addition to being given three years of probation, Watters had also sentenced Jones to 1,500 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine.
At the sentencing, Jones was seen wiping away his tears as he said "my actions were never to cause this". He added, "It was never to put this family through the hurt they go through."
It is reported that the altercation between Jones and Szabo took place in Long Island City where Szabo was leaving from his sister's wedding. Szabo was a digital marketing executive who was visiting New York City from Florida for the wedding and he was killed at 1.40 am on August 5, 2018.
Jones had testified that was riding in his girlfriend's SUV when someone bashed in the rear window of the vehicle. "The next thing you heard was a loud 'boom!' and the rear windshield started to fall in," Jones said. At trial, Jones took the stand and broke down while he described the incident. As per PIX 11, Jones told the jury, "I've never been arrested prior to this case. I've never had a drink in my life."
Jones had admitted to chasing Szabo and then punching him in the face even though Szabo seemed to be backing up. However, Szabo's brother Dominik Szabo did not believe that his brother Jones had smashed any windows as his hands were unscratched while he lay in coma. It is also said that Szabo may have mistaken the SUV that Jones was in to be the Uber he had requested.
According to prosecutors, Szabo had fallen to the ground where he hit his head on the pavement. He lost consciousness soon after. Szabo was rushed to a local hospital and was in critical condition where he was pronounced dead. He was kept on life support for a day so that his organs could be donated. The New York City medical examiner had ruled Szabo's death as a homicide and listed the official cause of death as "blunt impact injury of the head with brain injury".