Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Crime & Courts

Teen knockout punch murderer sentenced to 10 years in prison

See also

On Sept. 12, 2012, 17-year-old Jesse Jean Smithers of Sauk Rapids, Minn., got out of a car and in an unprovoked manner, delivered a “knockout game” punch to St. Cloud State University student, 20-year-old student Colton Gleason. Gleason subsequently died as a result of that fatal, cowardly attack.

On Feb. 6, in a Stearns County courtroom, Smithers, now 18, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his deadly knockout punch, according to CBS News.

Smithers, who was traveling in a car with about seven cohorts that fateful Sept. evening, had changed his plea from not guilty to second-degree murder back in Nov. 2013.

The victim’s father, John Gleason, said that “the pain, bitterness and hurt his family feels did not go away with the sentencing of the man responsible for his son’s death.”

“We’ve been given a life sentence by this cowardice attack and murder of our son,” John said. “He’ll serve very few short years and he’ll be back out again, and our son is gone forever.”

“This group was out there and their intentions were very clear. This is unprovoked. They stopped and they saw someone they thought they could victimize,” he said. “Colton didn’t have a chance to even turn and defend himself when somebody blind-sided punched him.”

At his sentencing hearing on Thursday, Smithers apologized for delivering that fatal knockout punch, and referred to it as a “complete accident.”

The victim’s mom, Julie Gleason, didn’t buy Smithers’ apology – or the fact that it was an accidental punch.

“Somebody didn’t just run over and hit a car and provoke an attack,” said the still heartbroken mother. “This was an attack that was meant to happen.”

“He was just fun to be with all time, and he was always hugging and telling everyone he loved them,” she said.

If Smithers keeps his nose clean in prison, he could be free in five years.

Also see:

NYC ‘knockout game’ suspect charged with attacks on 5 Jewish women

Actress Rose McGowan witnesses ‘knockout’ assault, renders aid to victim

Connect with Rich Webster on Facebook and Twitter.

To receive e-mail alerts to Richard's Domestic Crimes articles, Subscribe Here to Get Instant Updates.

E-mail alerts are free, private and secure, and you won't get any ink on your fingers.

Advertisement

News

  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Video
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
    Headlines
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
    Headlines
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
    Sports
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Video
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!