Local News


One-punch deaths not that unusual around the world

Posted at 3:05 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 19:17:49-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Ninety Australians were killed by single punches between 2000 and 2015, according to the Queensland Government. While a similar statistic can't be found for deaths caused by a single punch in the United States, they are not that unusual.

James Beach had a parole hearing in Las Vegas on Feb. 10 for killing a 45-year-old man named Luis Campos in 2017.

Campos, a father of 5, and his brother were visiting Las Vegas to celebrate the brother's upcoming wedding. The two men were standing in a line outside of a nightclub on Fremont Street when they got in an argument with two other men. James Beach, who was 27 at the time, punched him and Campos fell. He later died of his injuries. Beach turned himself in and was convicted. He was sentenced 3 to 10 years for voluntary manslaughter.

Beach claims that he is a changed man and is requesting to be released from prison. A decision by the parole board could take several days.

It wasn't the first time in Las Vegas that someone has died after being punched a single time (also called a sucker punch).

In 2011, 46-year-old John Massie from Utah died after being punched once by a Florida high school football coach and teacher Benjamin Gerard Hawkins. The punch happened after Massie allegedly made a remark about a "black man in a yellow shirt" in a hotel-casino restroom.

A Clark County judge sentenced Hawkins to 90 days in jail and 5 years of probation. He was also ordered undergo impulse control and anger management counseling.

Although a single punch can definitely cause brain injury, most people who have died have done so because they fell and hit their heads.

Other single-punch deaths in the last decade in the United States include:

A Utah soccer referee died in 2013 after he was punched in the head by an angry 17-year-old soccer player during a game.

A South Carolina man was charged with involuntary manslaughter after he sucker punched a man in downtown Charleston in 2014.

Michael Beaver died after being punched from behind in the Gaslamp District of San Diego in 2014. Mahad Ahmed was sentenced 15 years to life in prison for 2nd degree murder.

A New York resident was sentenced to jail after killing an undocumented immigrant from Dublin with one punch outside of a bar in 2018.

Two California teens who allegedly fatally sucker punched a 13-year-old classmate in September 2019 were chaged with voluntary manslaughter.

A Michigan man was charged with murder after a man he sucker punched outside of a bar in St. Clarie Shores, Michigan, died in December 2019.