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

  • Baseball Hall of Fame
    The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown welcomes six new inductees
    Video
    Video
  • 2012 do-over
    If we were to re-do the 2012 election, a new poll suggests Romney would win
    Politics
  • Boko Haram
    Boko Haram kidnaps the wife of the vice prime minister of Cameroon
    World News
  • Ceasefire breaks
    Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu claims Hamas broke another brief ceasefire
    Gaza
  • Close call with CME
    Scientists tell how Earth survived a giant solar flare back in 2012
    Space
  • Comic-Con
    What's going on at Comic-Con? Get all the latest updates here
    Comic-Con