Press Release

BASKETBALL COACH SENTENCED IN ONE-PUNCH DEATH OF MAN VISITING QUEENS FOR WEDDING IN 2018

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced that a 37-year-old basketball coach from North Carolina has been sentenced to probation and community service following a jury conviction for assault in the third degree. The defendant punched a man, who later died. The defendant and the victim encountered each other in Long Island City early in the morning in August 2018.

District Attorney Katz said, “This was a tragic incident that ended the life of a man and devastated his family, a violent run-in that should never have happened. Violence is never the answer to settling a dispute.”

The District Attorney’s Office identified the defendant as Jamill Jones, 37, of North Carolina. The defendant was found guilty in February of assault in the third degree before Queens Criminal Court Judge Joanne Watters, who imposed today’s sentence of three years’ probation, 1,500 hours of private community service and a fine of $1,000.

According to trial testimony, it was shortly after 1:40 a.m. on August 5, 2018, when the defendant was in his SUV with a companion in Long Island City. The victim, Sandor Szabo, who had earlier in the day attended a family wedding, was walking in the neighborhood after exiting a ride-share vehicle. The 35-year-old victim wandered over to the rear of the defendant’s vehicle and banged on the window. Mr. Szabo then ran away and the defendant pursued him. Jones caught up to the victim and punched him once in the face. Ms. Szabo collapsed to the ground, striking his head on the concrete pavement.

Continuing, according to trial testimony, Mr. Szabo was taken to a nearby hospital. His injuries included a laceration to his chin, a skull fracture and other traumatic brain injuries. Two days later, on August 7, 2018, the victim died as a result of those injuries.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Kirk A. Sendlein of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Brad A. Leventhal, Bureau Chief, Peter J. McCormack III, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, John W. Kosinski and Kenneth Appelbaum, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.