Mom Who Urged Daughter to Punch Opponent Must Pay Up

Latira Shonty Hunt ordered to pay $9K in restitution
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2021 12:32 AM CST
Updated Sep 16, 2022 11:31 AM CDT

Update: The woman who instructed her 14-year-old daughter to hit an opposing player during a basketball game, an act that resulted in a concussion, will have to pay. A judge this week ruled that Latira Shonty Hunt, 44, of La Puente, Calif., must pay $9,000 in restitution; write a formal apology to the victim, her parents, and the SoCal Blaze and Dream Academy basketball teams; and complete anger-management classes before she's allowed back in the stands, NBC News reports. Upon completion within two years, the charges against her will be dismissed, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Our original story from December follows:

A mother who allegedly told her daughter to hit a girl on the opposing basketball team during a game last month has now been charged in the case. The incident was caught on cellphone video and quickly went viral after being posted to social media; after some sort of interaction between the two girls on the court, a woman can be heard yelling, "You better hit her for that," the Los Angeles Times reports. Police say that woman was Latira Shonty Hunt, 44, and that it was her 14-year-old daughter who then turned and sucker-punched the 15-year-old girl in the head, knocking her to the ground.

The mother of the girl who was hit says her daughter suffered a concussion, and that neither the mom nor the daughter who allegedly threw the punch apologized or expressed remorse for the incident. The girl's father, however, did—he's Corey Benjamin, a former Chicago Bulls player. "As a father, I’m shocked and disappointed at my daughter’s behavior as this is not a reflection of the values and standards that my family holds," he said in a statement that included an apology to the victim, her family, and "all of those who have been impacted and hurt by the actions of my daughter as well as those of her mother."

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Hunt is charged with misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and battery, and faces up to a year behind bars if convicted, NBC Los Angeles reports. It's not clear whether her daughter will face any charges, but both have been banned from future tournaments hosted by the youth basketball organization involved. (More California stories.)

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