Friday, February 21, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) — On a day two men were sentenced to prison for the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium, the victim's sister described the grueling life left for the brain-damaged and permanently disabled Bryan Stow, who requires around-the-clock care nearly three years later.
"We shower him, we dress him, we fix his meals," said Bonnie Stow, one of two sisters who spoke and wept in court before the sentencing of Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood in a Los Angeles court Thursday. "We make sure he gets his 13 medications throughout the day. He takes two different anti-seizure medications to prevent the seizures he endured for months after you brutally and cowardly attacked him."
The 45-year-old paramedic from Santa Cruz returned home last spring after two years in rehabilitation centers and hospitals. His father David Stow put a Giants cap on the podium before speaking in court.
"The years you spend in prison is what you cretins deserve," David Stow said as Sanchez smirked at him, spurring an angry rebuke from Judge George Lomeli.
Sanchez, 31, acknowledging he kicked and punched Stow, pleaded guilty to one count of mayhem and was sentenced to eight years in prison with credit for nearly three years already served.
Norwood pleaded guilty to one count of assault likely to produce great bodily injury and was sentenced to four years. His credit for time already in custody appeared to account for at least the majority of that term and he could be released immediately, but both men face federal weapons charges that could send them to prison for another 10 years, Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee said.
Outside court, Hanisee said prosecutors had obtained sentences close to the maximum possible if the defendants had been convicted at a trial. She said there were insufficient facts to justify a more severe charge of attempted murder.
The beating in April 2011 made it a dark day in the fierce rivalry between the two teams, prompting public amazement and outrage and drawing attention to the problem of fan violence at sports venues.
"You are the biggest nightmare for people who attend public events," the judge said Thursday.
A civil suit by Stow is pending against the Dodgers organization and former owner Frank McCourt.
Sanchez and Norwood were arrested after a lengthy manhunt and acknowledged their involvement during a series of secretly recorded jailhouse conversations.
Norwood was recorded telling his mother by phone that he was involved and saying, "I will certainly go down for it."
Sanchez acknowledged he attacked a Giants fan, and Norwood said he had no regrets about backing him up.
Witnesses testified about the parking lot confrontation, saying Stow was jumped from behind and his head crashed to the pavement. While he was on the ground, Sanchez kicked him in the head three times, they said.
Both teams issued brief statement after the sentencing, with the Dodgers saying they were "pleased the culpable parties have finally accepted responsibility" and the Giants saying they "hope this development will help the Stows as they move forward from this tragic event.