Wake Forest assistant basketball coach Jamill Jones has been placed on leave by the school while authorities investigate details of an incident that left a man dead in New York earlier this week.
Jones, who is in his second year on the staff of Deacons’ coach Danny Manning, is currently charged with third-degree assault following a fatal punch he allegedly threw at 35-year-old tourist Sandor Szabo. Those charges, however, could be upgraded to murder now that the New York Medical Examiner’s office has ruled that Szabo’s death was the result of a homicide.
The ME’s conclusion, according to the New York Post, is that Szabo died from “blunt impact injury of the head causing a brain injury.”
Wake athletic director Ron Wellman announced the school’s decision to put Jones on leave after speaking with the embattled assistant coach on Friday. Wellman, in a statement, said that he and Jones “agreed that the decision is appropriate at this time given the circumstances.”
Jones allegedly punched Szabo in the face early Sunday morning after Szabo knocked on Jones’ car window thinking it was his Uber ride, according to police. As a result of the punch, Szabo’s head hit the pavement and he lost consciousness. He died Tuesday at a local hospital.
According to the New York Post, Szabo — who was in New York attending his stepsister’s wedding — had punched a local resident in the face who had confronted him about the noise he was making banging on cars prior to Jones allegedly punching Szabo.
Jones, 35, turned himself in to police in New York on Thursday.
“Wake Forest University expresses heartfelt condolences to Sandor Szabo’s family and friends following his tragic death,” the university’s release said.