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Former Basketball Coach Hit with Wrongful Demise Lawsuit

Donna Kent is suing Jamill Jones over his 2018 attack on her son that claimed his life.

A wrongful death lawsuit was recently filed against Jamill Jones, a former assistant basketball coach for Wake University. According to the suit, which also names the university as a defendant, Jones allegedly “killed a man in Long Island City two years ago with a single punch to the head.” The suit was filed by Donna Kent, the mother of 35-year-old Sandor Szabo, the victim.

Gavel and law books; image by Succo, via Pixabay.com.

According to the suit, which was filed in Queens County Court, the fatal incident happened on August 5, 2018. Back in February, Jones was convicted of third-degree assault over the incident and was sentenced to “3-years’ probation, 1,500 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine.” However, Kent said the sentence is too lenient and the suit states “a civil action is now the only means to obtain justice.” 

What happened, though? What led to the fatal altercation? Well, according to court documents from the criminal trial, Jones “fatally punched Szabo, of Boca Raton, FL., after the victim was heading back to his Long Island City hotel and drunkenly banged on Jones’ white 2019 BMW.” Prior to the incident, Szabo “had attended his step-sister’s wedding at the Foundry in Long Island City the night of his death.” According to court documents, “the wedding party then went to the Paper Factory Hotel in Long Island City to continue their festivities and when the victim caught a Lyft back to the Howard Johnson hotel on 12th Street where he was staying he was mistakenly dropped off at 29th Street and 41st Avenue.” As a result, Szabo “sought another Lyft to get back to the Howard Johnson.” His family said they think he was “looking for his rideshare vehicle and mistakenly thumped on Jones’ car thinking it was his ride.”

After thumping Jones’ car, Szabo ran off, but Jones chased him down. According to the suit, Jones, “at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, punched a 5-foot-10 and 183 pound Szabo in the face in front of 41-10 29th St.” After being punched, Szabo fell to the ground and “hit his head on the concrete pavement.” According to video footage that captured the incident, Jones looked down at Szabo “on the ground unconscious with his legs twitching and blood coming from his ears,” but decided to drive off instead of calling for help. 

Eventually, Szabo was taken to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a skull fracture, traumatic brain injuries, and a laceration on his chin. Unfortunately, he died two days later from his injuries.

As part of the suit, Kent is seeking unspecified damages, as well as compensation from Jones and Wake Forest University for her “son’s funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and the income he would have earned over his lifetime.”

Sources:

Basketball Coach Slapped With Wrongful Death Lawsuit For Throwing Fatal Punch in Long Island City

Mother of Queens ‘one punch’ victim files wrongful death suit against ex-Wake Forest coach

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