Howard Randolph Sentenced to Two years for “One Punch Knockout” in the Death of Rayshawn Hailstock

Howard Randolph was sentenced to two years Friday for a fist fight that led to Rayshawn Hailstock’s death, after a single punch on June 30, 2013.

Randolph pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter in May.

According to the government’s memorandum, Randolph knew Hailstock was at the bus stop and he willingly and intentionally approached Hailstock to start a fight.

But Randolph’s defense has argued it was Hailstock who made it clear that he intended to fight Randolph after he took offense to Randolph talking to his girlfriend about a neighborhood fight.

Hailstock was found laying unconscious on the sidewalk in the 2300 block of Alabama Avenue Southeast. He was suffering from blunt impact injuries to the head and neck. He later died at a local hospital from those injuries.

Thirty-three year-old Randolph admitted to confronting Hailstock and punching him once, breaking his jaw in two places and fracturing the hyoid bone in his neck. Hailstock, 21, fell forward and hit his head, but medical examiners said the punch is what caused his death.

In an oral proffer from the government, Hailstock was involved in a “big neighborhood brawl” one week earlier because of Hailstock punching his girlfriend.

Afterwards, Randolph saw Hailstock at a nearby bus stop and walked up to him, Assistant US Attorney Adrienne Dedjinou said. According to Dedjinou, the men squared up, and Randolph threw one punch, knocking Hailstock out, and walked away.

According to defense’s memorandum, Hailstock swung on Mr Randolph -swinging first starting the physical altercation- and Randolph returned a connecting punch.

In a statement by the defense, Randolph said he never meant to kill Hailstock.

I am heartbroken to know that he died due to the altercation,” Randolph said.

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