Autopsy: Punch from WFU assistant coach caused brain injury, death ruled a homicide
The New York Medical Examiner has determined a cause of death for the tourist with ties to the Triangle who died after being punched by a Wake Forest University assistant basketball coach last Sunday in Queens.
Sandor Szabo had mistaken Jamill Jones for an Uber driver and banged on his window, looking for a ride.
Authorities said Jones punched Szabo, knocking him to the pavement and causing him to lose consciousness.
The medical examiner determined that Szabo, 35, died from a blunt impact of the head that caused a brain injury. The death was ruled a homicide.
Jones surrendered to police on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to an assault charge. Those charges could change following the medical examiner’s ruling.
After the initial hearing, Jones’ attorney spoke on his behalf.
“This was a tragic accident and Mr. Jones and his family send their deepest condolences and their thoughts and prayers to the Szabo family,” he said.
During an interview that aired Friday on the Today show, Szabo’s mother was emotional.
“It’s just devastating,” his mother, Donna Kent, said through tears. “We were just so lucky that God gave him to us for this long.”
According to the Sandor Szabo LinkedIn profile, Szabo worked as a vice president of sales at What If Media Group in Boca Raton, Florida.
Szabo’s father, Balazs Szabo, said he and his son moved to Wake County in 1993 and his son graduated from Millbrook High School.
“Sandor carried the torch for the family,” Balazs Sazbo said. “He was just the son everybody would love to have. We’re getting thousands of people telling us how wonderful the young man was.”
Sandor Szabo’s LinkedIn page also lists Szabo as a consultant for Robert Kent and Associates, which he listed as being located in the Raleigh-Durham area.
Sandor Szabo’s parents said they were “devastated” by his death.
“We were just hoping for a miracle that he would come through,” Bob Kent, his step-father, said during the interview on Today. “We always had someone holding his hands to see if he would just squeeze to let us know he was there.”
A statement by the Jones family characterized the death as “accidental” and said Jamil Jones is a son and the father of two young children.
“I used to be a mother of two as well,” Donna Kent said. “I’m sorry, but your condolences are too late.”