Wake Forest has placed assistant men’s basketball coach Jamill Jones on leave after he was charged with third-degree assault in connection with the death of a Florida resident in New York.
According to the school, athletic director Ron Wellman spoke with Jones Friday and both parties agreed this was the best course of action to take.
“Wake Forest University expresses heartfelt condolences to Sandor Szabo’s family and friends following his tragic death,” the school said via statement.
On Friday the New York City medical examiner officially ruled Szabo’s death as a homicide, calling the official cause of death “blunt impact injury of head with brain injury.”
Jones turned himself into police Thursday afternoon and was arraigned Thursday night at Queens County Criminal Court. Jones was released on his own recognizance and was ordered to return to court Oct. 2. The case remains under review, according to a spokesperson for the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
According to police, Jones allegedly punched Szabo in the face following a confrontation in the early morning hours Sunday. The Associated Press, citing a person familiar with the investigation, reported Szabo may have been drunkenly knocking on car windows before the alleged confrontation with Jones.
Szabo lost consciousness when his head hit the pavement, and he was brought to an area hospital in critical condition. He was treated for fractures to the left side of his face and the rear of his skull, along with bleeding of the brain. He was taken off life support Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s an unfortunate and tragic incident,” Jones’ attorney, Alain Massena, told ESPN. “Mr. Jones and his family, their deepest condolences go out to the Szabo family. We simply hope that the public gives Mr. Jones an opportunity to litigate this matter in the court and not in the press.”
Massena said Jones is cooperating fully with the investigation. A third-degree assault charge is a misdemeanor in New York.