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Sentencing delayed for man who pleaded guilty to deadly sucker punch at St. Clair Shores bar

Posted at 5:34 AM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 11:38:27-05

(WXYZ) — A man who pleaded guilty to a deadly sucker punch was expected to be sentenced on Thursday, but his sentencing was delayed until Feb. 19. The fatal altercation happened in December 2019, and despite a guilty plea, the victim's family says they're still fighting for justice.

It's a day Shawn Kubic's family has waited over a year for, but the family is hoping the judge will see the sucker punch that happened at Kapone's in St. Clair Shores as second-degree murder and not manslaughter. They want the suspect to go away for as long as possible.

Originally, the sentencing was scheduled for a virtual hearing, but the judge found it should be held in-person instead, which is why it was delayed.

"It's certainly more than manslaughter," Kubic's mother, Kathleen Zelmanski, said.

She said 10-15 years isn't enough of a punishment for Hatum Akrawi, the man who pleaded guilty. Kubic died in December 2019, days after being sucker punch following a verbal argument at the sports bar.

During the sentencing, Zelmanski and her sister plan to read victim impact statements hoping to convince the judge to increase the charge after what's been a trying year.

"It's exhausting, mentally, physically, emotionally it's a roller coaster. And we've had so many curve balls thrown at us throughout the last year," Kelly Ingels, Kubic's aunt, said.

The court tossed the second-degree murder charge and went with manslaughter. A higher court reversed that decision, but ultimately, the second degree didn't stick.

She said another suspect withdrew their plea in a related case, sending that case to trial.

"I want people to know what a wonderful man he was, I mean wonderful, ever since he was a kid," Zelmanski said.