Las Vegas Strip Fatal Punch Leads to Prison in Retired State Trooper’s Death

Posted on: April 9, 2022, 08:42h. 

Last updated on: April 9, 2022, 05:46h.

A one-time boxer who threw a deadly punch last year on the Las Vegas Strip has been sentenced to anywhere between eight and 20 years in prison. The fatal blow led to the death of a 57-year-old retired Connecticut state trooper.

Thomas Driscoll, left, and Brandon Leath, right
Thomas Driscoll, left, and Brandon Leath shown above. Leath allegedly threw a fatal punch at Driscoll near the Las Vegas Strip. He was sentenced to prison. (Images: CT State Police Alumni Association (left) and Metro Police)

The sentence for Brandon Leath, 34, was announced Friday by Las Vegas District Judge Michelle Leavitt. She also ordered him to pay restitution.

Leath pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter and mayhem in the Feb. 28, 2021 attack on the ex-trooper, Thomas Driscoll. It took place outside of Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.

Earlier, Leath pled not guilty to murder in the case. That charge was later dropped.

“What is so clear here is this wasn’t an accident. This wasn’t just bad luck,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Dickerson said in court before the sentencing, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. “The defendant was seeking out this confrontation. He was seeking out this fight.”

Driscoll’s death was determined to be a homicide. An autopsy revealed Driscoll died from a blunt force cranciocervical injury. That is an injury near the base of the skull, the Clark County coroner’s office explained.

The incident began when Leath was with several men on a pedestrian bridge between The Cromwell Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and Bally’s. Driscoll was walking with a woman by the crowd.

Initially, Leath commented on the two passersby. He then ran after them and encouraged Driscoll to fight. Leath went to the bottom of an escalator.

When Driscoll was nearby, Leath punched him once. The impact led Driscoll to fall on his back. A short time later, Driscoll died at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

Leath soon was apprehended by police officers near The Mirage.

Mace Yampolsky, the attorney representing Leath, argued on Friday his client only punched Driscoll after Driscoll threatened him with a beer bottle, the Review-Journal said.

I think it’s unfortunate that he was sentenced to the maximum,” Yampolsky later told the newspaper. Yampolsky is a criminal defense attorney in Nevada and is a past president of the Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

But Annie Chong, Driscoll’s former girlfriend, told KVVU, a local TV station, the sentence was insufficient and is “a miscarriage of justice.”

Leath Said Someone Stalking Him

In March 2021, Leath denied any wrongdoing in connection with Driscoll’s death and Leath said he was being stalked.

“I have been stalked, and there have been people that have been doing a lot of things,” Leath said in Nevada court to a judge shortly after his arrest, according to local news reports

“…This is very serious. This is my life. Ma’am, I did not do anything wrong.”

Prior Convictions

Leath has been convicted of six prior felonies, the Review-Journal said. Most stemmed from thefts in New Jersey. He was registered as a boxer in New York State, the report adds.

Also, following the fatal punch, two unnamed men said that they had tried to report Leath to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, they told KVVU, a Nevada TV station. That’s for an alleged violent attack and other crimes unrelated to Driscoll.

The two men alleged Leath was a “ticking time bomb.” Leath allegedly punched one of the two men in a local convenience store near Fremont Street, the TV report said.

The man became unconscious after getting knocked out, the report claims.

“I have to see a doctor about my possible concussion,” the victim told the TV station. He claims to suffer from headaches and blurred vision, the report adds.