Corey Pujols Tampa Dunkin’ worker sentenced to house arrest for fatally punching white customer Vonelle Cook who used n word.
Corey Ellis Pujols, 27, had initially been charged with aggravated manslaughter of 77 year old man and registered sex offender, Vonelle Cook. But on Monday, 10 months after the fatal punch, the worker copped a plea deal to a reduced charge of felony battery.
The deal involves Pujols being required to spend two years under house arrest along with serving three years of probation, as well as attending an anger management course and 200 hours of community service the Tampa Bay Times reported.
On the day of the fatal punch, Cook a regular at the fast food outlet had lambasted employees for service he was getting at the drive-thru. Employees in turn told him to leave. In the official account of what happened next, Cook entered the store; Pujols told a co-worker to call the cops. Cook called him the N-word, and when Pujols told him not to say it again, he repeated himself. Pujols responding by punching Cook, with the man dying three days later from injuries sustained.
Grayson Kamm, a spokesman for Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, said prosecutors considered the ‘totality of the circumstances,’ including Pujols’ youth, his lack of criminal history and the fact that he did not intend to cause Cook’s death. They also considered Cook’s behavior and what he said.
‘This outcome holds the defendant accountable while taking into account the totality of the circumstances—the aggressive approach and despicable racial slur used by the victim, along with the defendant’s age, lack of criminal record, and lack of intent to cause the victim’s death,’ said Grayson Kamm, Chief Communications Officer of the Office of the State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit.
‘Two of the primary factors were the aggressive approach the victim took toward the defendant and everyone working with the defendant,’ Kamm said, ‘and that the victim repeatedly used possibly the most aggressive and offensive term in the English language.’