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Basketball coach could face murder charge after NYC fracas

A coach with the Wake Forest University basketball team could be charged with murder in connection with an incident in New York City on the night of Aug. 5 that claimed the life of a Florida tourist. The coach allegedly fled the scene but later turned himself in to the New York City Police Department. He was originally charged with assault in the third degree, but reports suggest that a manslaughter or murder charge could be leveled against him after a coroner ruled the death a homicide.

According to media accounts, the coach was sitting in his SUV in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens County when a man began banging on his window. It is thought that that the man believed the coach's SUV was his Uber ride. The two men are said to have become embroiled in a dispute that escalated quickly to pushing and shoving. The coach then allegedly punched the man in the face and knocked him to the ground.

A witness to the incident told police that the coach helped the man to a sitting position before fleeing the scene. The man was said to have been unconscious and choking on his blood after striking his head on the sidewalk. He succumbed to his injuries two days later when doctors took him off life support. The coach entered a not guilty plea to the assault charge on Aug. 9 and was released on his own recognizance.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek to settle cases quickly when their client is a public figure and has not been in trouble with the law before, especially true if they are accused of committing a violent crime that the evidence suggests may have been committed either accidentally or in the heat of the moment. However, attorneys may advocate on behalf of their clients in court when prosecutors are unwilling to be flexible because of the publicity surrounding the case.

Source: The Hickory Record, Murder charges possible for Wake coach in NYC tourist's death, Jenny Drabble, Aug. 10, 2018Source: WPIX New York, Wake Forest University assistant coach arrested in death of man punched at Queens wedding, Aliza Chasan, Aug. 9, 2018

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