Orangetown judge: Man whose single punch killed friend will not serve jail time
The man who killed his friend with a single punch to the head will not serve jail time.
Orangetown Justice Patrick Loftus sentenced Douglas Guido to three years of probation and 60 days of community service for fatally punching 21-year-old R.J. Hess outside of a Pearl River bar in July 2018.
According to Guido's attorney, Nancy Lucianna, Hess had a dangerously high blood alcohol level of .337 and kept shoving Guido until he finally punched him in the head. She said it was a night that got out of hand.
Lucianna showed News 12 surveillance photos, saying Hess would not stop shoving Guido until he finally reached.
"Mr. Guido threw one punch to ward him off, and unfortunately, Mr. Hess dropped to the ground and suffered a very severe injury."
News 12 is told that Hess died in the hospital within 48 hours of the punch, but that the official cause of his death is unknown.
"The family is obviously upset and they're disappointed because they feel Richard's life was worth more than a probationary sentence,” says the Hess family’s attorney, Kevin Conway. "You're held accountable when someone dies, even if it's one punch or two punches. We have to be held accountable."
The judge said he took into account that it appeared the boys were lifelong friends and that Guido had no criminal history when determining the final sentencing.