LOS ANGELES – An angry judge lashed out Thursday as he sentenced two men who pleaded guilty in the savage beating of a die-hard San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium, calling them cowards and a nightmare for people who go to games.
Judge George Lomeli also called out defendant Louie Sanchez for smirking during the hearing on the 2011 beating that left 45-year-old victim Bryan Stow brain damaged and permanently disabled, requiring 24-hour-a-day care.
“You are the biggest nightmare for people who attend public events,” Lomeli said as he faced Sanchez and co-defendant Marvin Norwood across a courtroom crowded with media and members of Stow’s family who wept and denounced the two men.
Lomeli told them, “You not only ruined the life of Mr. Stow (but) his children, his family, his friends.”
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 1,086 days.
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.
Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee said Norwood could be released immediately. However, they still face federal weapons possession charges that could send them to federal prison for another 10 years.
The men were sentenced after Stow’s family addressed the court. His sisters wept.
David Stow, the victim’s father, placed a Giants ball cap on a podium before he spoke.
“The years you spend in prison is what you cretins deserve,” he announced as Sanchez smirked at him.
The beating shocked sports fans everywhere and drew attention to the problem of fan violence at sports events.
Stow, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, was nearly beaten to death in a parking lot after attending the 2011 opening day game between the fierce rivals. The attack prompted public outrage and led to increased security at Dodgers’ games. A civil suit by Stow is pending against the Dodgers organization and former owner Frank McCourt.
Outside court, Hanisee said prosecutors had obtained sentences close to the maximum possible if the defendants had been convicted at a trial.