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Marine reservist is jailed for five years for fatally punching Emerson College student, 19,

A US Marine reservist has been convicted in the death of a 19-year-old college student, who suffered a fatal brain injury during a fight after leaving a party in Boston in 2019.

A military court found Lance Corporal Samuel London guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Emerson College sophomore Daniel Hollis, 19.

Hollis and some friends were leaving an off-campus party in Boston’s Allston section in the early hours of September 28, 2019, when they were confronted by a group of men including London.

A scuffle ensued, and Hollis was punched in the face while attempting to break up the fight, Boston Herald reports. The student fell and hit his head on the concrete. 

He suffered severe brain damage and died four days later at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.   

London has been sentenced to 65 months in prison. He has been dishonorably discharged with a loss of pay, the Marine Corps said.

A US Marine reservist has been convicted in the death of a 19-year-old Daniel Hollis (pictured), who suffered a fatal brain injury during a fight after leaving a party in Boston in 2019

Hollis (pictured) and some friends were leaving an off-campus party in Boston's Allston section in the early hours of September 28, 2019, when they were confronted by a group of college-age men on Park Avenue

Hollis (pictured) and some friends were leaving an off-campus party in Boston’s Allston section in the early hours of September 28, 2019, when they were confronted by a group of college-age men on Park Avenue

London had been facing military charges including murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and wrongful use of a controlled substance in connection to the September 2019 killing of Hollis, the Marine Corps previously confirmed. 

London was not convicted on any of the other charges he was facing. 

The Marine Corps Times reports London and two friends were looking for a cigarette lighter when they found an apartment with members of the Emerson College lacrosse team, according to testimony from the trial.

A lacrosse player testified that a fight began after a player called London and his friends ‘grandmas.’

According to a post written by Hollis' mother, some words were exchanged and a scuffle ensued. During the melee, Hollis (pictured) was said to have been punched in the face, causing him to hit his head on concrete or bricks

According to a post written by Hollis’ mother, some words were exchanged and a scuffle ensued. During the melee, Hollis (pictured) was said to have been punched in the face, causing him to hit his head on concrete or bricks

The 19-year-old Emerson College sophomore was leaving an off-campus party with friends on September 28, 2019, when a fight broke out with a group of young men

The 19-year-old Emerson College sophomore was leaving an off-campus party with friends on September 28, 2019, when a fight broke out with a group of young men

The defense claimed the players escalated the situation, with someone saying they would ‘f*****g kill’ London. 

The defense also claimed that Hollis was drinking and smoking weed before the incident and that no witnesses came forward to identify London as the person who punched Hollis.

Following the conviction, the Daniel J. Hollis Foundation tweeted ‘justice’ in celebration of the news.

The foundation also posted a statement on their website on behalf of friends and family of Hollis.  

‘For 628 days, our family had to live with the knowledge that someone had caused Dan’s death and the individual responsible was not being held accountable for their actions,’ the statement reads.

‘Our family was unable to talk about the events of that evening, speak with the friends Dan was with, or know what his final moments were like under the direction of the Suffolk County DA’s Office.’

The statement thanked NCIS Special Agent Marcus Anders for his persistence and dedication to the case.

Following the conviction, the Daniel J. Hollis Foundation tweeted 'justice' in celebration

Following the conviction, the Daniel J. Hollis Foundation tweeted ‘justice’ in celebration

Daniel Hollis is seen in a 2017 Facebook photo of him playing lacrosse in high school

Daniel Hollis is seen in a 2017 Facebook photo of him playing lacrosse in high school

‘Over the last two weeks, the details of that investigative work came to light during the General Court Martial proceedings for Samuel B. London,’ the statement continues.

‘After six days of witness testimony, the jury convicted London on the charge of Article 119.2 Manslaughter – Involuntary. On Friday, June 18, 2021, 628 days from the time that Dan was struck in the head as he was trying to prevent an altercation, our family was able to speak about Dan and the impact his loss has had on us all.’

The statement goes on to reveal the devastation family and friends continue to feel over the loss of Hollis.

‘Our loss remains – Daniel will not return to us in this life,’ the statement reads. ‘The conviction and sentencing of the person responsible for his death is of small consequence to the loss we feel every single day, however, London’s conviction and sentence relieves some of the anger and frustration associated with unanswered questions and lack of accountability for the aggressors.’

'Our loss remains – Daniel will not return to us in this life,' a statement on behalf of family and friends read after London's conviction

‘Our loss remains – Daniel will not return to us in this life,’ a statement on behalf of family and friends read after London’s conviction

‘We choose now to focus on Daniel and his light and his positivity. We will continue the work of this foundation to provide opportunities to young people to support their community, foster healthy competition, and explore the world around them.

‘We ask that you join us in celebrating Dan’s life, his goals, and the future good that will be done in his name,’ the statement concludes. 

The move by the Marine Corps to charge London followed a decision by a Massachusetts grand jury in February 2020 not to issue indictments against London in the case.

Hollis was a marketing communications major and a goalie on Emerson’s school’s lacrosse team.    

''We choose now to focus on Daniel and his light and his positivity. We will continue the work of this foundation to provide opportunities to young people to support their community, foster healthy competition, and explore the world around them,' the family statement says

”We choose now to focus on Daniel and his light and his positivity. We will continue the work of this foundation to provide opportunities to young people to support their community, foster healthy competition, and explore the world around them,’ the family statement says

District Attorney Rachael Rollins said last February that the investigation preceding the Suffolk County grand jury’s vote was ‘incredibly thorough and painstakingly detailed,’ but she acknowledged the grand jury ‘has spoken and we respect its findings, however difficult they are to hear.’

The family said in their statement that they were ‘devastated’ by the grand jury’s decision. 

‘At that time, we felt that there was no justice for our son, our family, and all those who Dan loved and loved him in return,’ Hollis’ relatives wrote. 

In response to last week’s conviction, Rollins released a statement, saying, ‘I’m grateful to the team of investigators and prosecutors who ensured that the individual responsible for Daniel Hollis’ death is held accountable through the military’s legal system.’

Hollis' family, including his mother (right), said they were devastated when a Massachusetts grand jury declined in February to indict London in civilian court

Hollis’ family, including his mother (right), said they were devastated when a Massachusetts grand jury declined in February to indict London in civilian court

She said she was ‘grateful to my staff and members of the Boston Police Department who conducted a thorough and detailed investigation prior to the decision of a Suffolk County grand jury declining to return indictments last year.’

Rollins added, ‘My office will continue to be available to Mr. Hollis’ loved ones to ensure that they have the resources and support they deserve as they begin this next chapter in their journey toward healing.’ 

In June, a Boston police detective connected the Hollis family with an agent from NCIS, who informed them that the military was taking over the investigation since London was a Marine Corps reservist on active duty at the time of the attack.    

According to the military, London remained assigned to Rifle Company A, 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment located at Fort Devens at the time he was charged, The Boston Globe reported. 




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