Utica man sentenced for killing friend with punch to the head

A 47-year-old central New York man has been sentenced to 1-to-3 years in prison for killing his friend with a single blow to the head.

Nathanial Ephriam said at his sentencing Wednesday in Oneida County Court that he never thought a single blow would ultimately kill the man. Freddie Knight of Rome died several days after the punch.

Ephriam and Knight had been longtime friends. Knight's girlfriend said Ephriam kicked Knight in the head during a March 15 party because Knight had tried to put a pillow over her face.

Ephriam said he had only used his fist. Knight didn't seek medical treatment until several days later. He died at a Syracuse hospital of blunt force trauma to the brain.

Ephriam pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide last month.