Armstrong Renata, 23, has been sentenced for the death of Cole Miller. Renata has pled guilty to the charge of unlawful striking causing death. He was sentenced to seven years in prison as a result of the attack.
In January 2016, Renata punched Mr. Miller in the back of the head in the back of the head, causing the teenager to lose balance, fall, and hit his head on the pavement. Before the attack, Miller walked through a mall with his friend and was trying to catch a taxi cab to go home.
Miller was a former Brisbane State High School student. He received severe head injuries and massive brain damage as a result of the attack. One day after the incident, the once-promising water polo athlete was taken off of life support and pronounced dead.
Shortly after Miller’s death, thousands of people joined together in a vigil and rally in King George Square to show support for the victim and the family of the decease, as well as condemning and calling an end to violent behavior.
Renata’s co-accused Daniel Maxwell allegedly started the fight after the duo was kicked out of a venue. He was given 18-month service for assault and was later deported back to New Zealand.
Both the families of Renata and Miller were in the courtroom during Thursday’s sentencing.
Renata will be forced to serve at least 80 percent of his sentence, and may be eligible for parole in four years (considering time already served). He is only the second person to be sentenced under Queensland’s one-punch laws.
According to statements from Prosecutor David Meredith, the victim (Cole Miller) and his friend Nick Pace weren’t the instigators of the confrontation and made no contact with either Renata or Maxwell until the fatal incident.
Maxwell was allegedly drunk that night, and was said to have picked fights with at least three individuals, before the two groups ever crossed during that fatal encounter in the Chinatown mall.
Maxwell allegedly wanted to fight Mr. Miller, and is said to have punched him in the chest, after initially aiming for the victim’s jaw. Miller didn’t retaliate and indicated that he wanted no part in a fight.
After Miller and Pace attempted to retreat, Renata admittedly punched Miller in the back of the head, while the victim was facing away with his hands at his sides.
“Renata moved around behind Cole Miller and then punched him in the side of the head,” said Mr Meredith. “Miller would not have seen the attack coming. The blow was of such force … it, as well as contact with ground … [meant] injury was unsurvivable.”
Pace attempted to revive his knocked out friend and called an ambulance.
According to Defense attorney Angus Edwards, his client feels “genuine remorse” for any and all wrongdoings relating to Miller’s death.
Edwards said, “He perceived, wrongly … that Mr Miller was going to hit his friend so he struck first.”
Editor’s Note: I’ll close this article with a photo of the victim. R.I.P. Cole Miller…