You are reading

Florida Man Sentenced to 18 Months for Racists Threats Against Black Basketball Coach

A Florida man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for making racist threats against a black basketball coach who fatally punched a tourist in Long Island City in 2018 (Photo: iStock).

Mar. 1, 2022, By Michael Dorgan

A Florida man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for making racist threats against a black former basketball coach who fatally punched a white tourist in Long Island City in 2018.

Michael Feeney, 61, a retiree from Palm City, was sentenced in Brooklyn Federal Court Friday for threatening to kill Jamill Jones, a disgraced coach who was convicted in February 2020 for the one-punch death of a man near a Long Island City hotel, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.

Feeney left threatening messages with Jones’ attorney Christopher Renfroe, who is also black, in July 2020 shortly after the former coach was sentenced to three years’ probation for third-degree assault.

Jones, who was the assistant basketball coach for Wake Forest University in North Carolina, punched Sandor Szabo in the early hours of Aug. 5, 2018, in front of 41-10 29th St. Szabo, who was white, hit his head on the pavement and died two days later.

Jones was sentenced to 1,500 hours of community service and fined $1,000.

Feeney took exception to the sentence — arguing that it was too lenient and made a number of racist threats toward Jones as well as racist statements to his attorney. He indicated that by killing Jones he would get a modest sentence — given what was handed down to Jones.

“This is for the n****r lover [attorney],” Feeney said in a voicemail left with Jones’ attorney, according to court documents. “[The] judge made it perfectly clear, we can beat him to death and we get probation and community service.”

Feeney then said on the call that Renfroe should tell Jones to hire a lot of security to protect his family, claiming he knows where his family members live.

“We will execute that n****r’s family,” Feeney said, according to the documents. “They will be hunted down and f***ing beaten to death.”

Feeney attempted to conceal the telephone number he was calling from by dialing *67. However, federal authorities were able to trace the number to Feeney’s wife. Through other recordings, investigators were able to confirm that it was his voice on the call.

Feeney did not know Szabo, authorities said, nor is he part of any known hate group.

Jones was not the only person to draw Feeney’s bigoted scorn, according to prosecutors, who showed that his actions were part of a pattern.

Prosecutors said that Feeney made more than 200 calls to members of Congress, media companies, government agencies and organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center between Feb. 7, 2020 and July 29, 2020.

On July 24, 2020, Feeney left a threatening voicemail with the office of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that included racial epithets and other derogatory terms, prosecutors said.

“She [AOC] should be lynched and she should be swinging from a fucking tree,” Feeney said.

“We are going to pray that someone cuts her head off.”

On the same day, Feeney called up the office of Illinois Congressmen Bobby Rush and left a voicemail saying: “We are praying that everyone in your family gets their heads cut off and they shit down their throats.”

In June 2020, Feeney called the front office of the San Francisco 49ers football team and told an assistant who answered the phone that he was angry about a Black Lives Matter Flag flying in front of the team’s stadium. He also made threats.

“We have a list of employees, and everyone is subject to beat downs on a regular basis every time they walk out of that building and then hopefully everyone there will get Covid and die for supporting a terrorist group,” Feeney said.

Prosecutors said the calls were despicable acts and that Feeney deserved prison time for the racist threats against Jones.

“The language the defendant used on these threatening calls was disgusting, racially motivated, and caused real fear in the people who heard the call, which was the defendant’s intent,” prosecutors said.

Feeney pleaded guilty to making the threats in December 2020 as part of a plea agreement. He did not have a criminal record prior to the case.

Jamill Jones, pictured, was convicted in February 2020 for the one-punch death of a man near a Long Island City hotel. (Photo: Wake Forest University)

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.