The two men accused in the 2011 brutal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan outside of Dodger Stadium pleaded guilty to charges in the case Thursday morning.
Marvin Norwood, left, and Louie Sanchez pleaded guilty in court Thursday to charges in connection with the 2011 brutal beating of Bryan Stow outside of Dodger Stadium. (Credit: pool)
Marvin Norwood, 33, and Louie Sanchez, 31, were charged with mayhem, assault and battery in connection with the attack on 45-year-old Bryan Stow, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
Sanchez pleaded guilty to one count of mayhem, while Norwood pleaded guilty to one count of assault, the DA’s office announced in a news release.
Following the guilty plea, family members of Stow — including his father and two sisters — addressed the court and the defendants.
“What you both did late in the evening at Dodger Stadium was cowardly,” Stow’s father David, who spoke first, said. “The time you serve is insignificant compared to what Bryan must endure.”
Bryan Stow, a father of two, suffered brain damage and permanent disability in the attack.
David Stowe added that his son has a lifetime of pain, therapy and hard work that he would be forced to endure on a daily basis.
His younger sister, Bonnie, spoke next. She got emotional as she talked about having to take care of Bryan.
“My family – my sister and my parents – we shower him, we dress him, we fix his meals, and we make sure he gets his 13 medications throughout the day,” she said. “You get to live your life as you choose. Bryan did not choose this. No sentencing you receive will ever be long enough.”
Bryan Stow and his two children. (Credit: Family photo)
Erin Collins, his other sister, addressed the two men last.
“I feel sad. I feel sad for us, I feel sad for your families. And I hope you understand what you did,” she said, appearing to fight back tears.
“To say you got off easy is an understatement,” Collins added.
Collins also delivered a written statement on behalf of Stow’s ex-wife.
“We live in a completely different world than you, but my children had to learn early on that horrible, mean people exist,” she wrote.
Finally, L.A. Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli, who presided over the case, addressed the two men.
Noting that the case “screams out that comment be made,” he said he felt compelled to speak and delivered harsh criticism to both men.
“You not only ruined the life of Mr. Stow, the obvious victim in this matter, but of his children, his spouse, his family, his friends,” Lomeli said. “From what I know of Mr. Stow, he’s an individual who was very decent. That is shown by the line of work he did, and that was a paramedic. He was only trying to help people.”
“You are the biggest nightmare for individuals that attend public events, such as sporting events or concerts. My son and I have season tickets to college football and my biggest fear, which is probably true for most of the people that appear there … is that we run into people like you,” he added.
At one point Sanchez smiled during the judge’s scolding, which further drew his ire.
“Oh you’re smiling?” the judge said. “It’s funny?”
“It’s not funny,” Sanchez responded.
“It was only a game,” Lomeli said. “You lost perspective, and that’s unfortunate.”
The two initially pleaded not guilty to charges related to the March 31, 2011, beating.
Police said Stow was targeted by Dodgers fans as he walked through the parking lot at the stadium on opening day game because he was wearing a Giants jersey.
Sanchez knocked Stow unconscious during an unprovoked attacked, the DA’s office stated in the release.
According to witnesses, Norwood prevented Stow’s friends from helping him, the DA’s office said.
As part of the plea deal, Lomeli sentenced Norwood to four years in prison and Sanchez to eight years.
A county prosecutor initially said that Norwood would be immediately released because of time served.
However, because both men were charged in 2012 for being felons in possession of a handgun, Norwood will be turned over to federal authorities, according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
“In light of Norwood’s expected release from state custody, federal authorities are taking action to take him into custody and bring him to federal court to face the charge,” he said in an emailed statement.
Mrozek added that could happen as early as Friday.
Update Source: http://ktla.com/2014/02/20/bryan-stow-beating-suspects-due-in-court-may-plead-guilty-reports/
In this May 31, 2012 file photo, Marvin Norwood , left, with attorney Victor Escobedo, center, and co-defendant Louie Sanchez appear during a preliminary hearing held in Los Angeles Superior court. The hearing was to determine whether Sanchez and Norwood will stand trial on charges of mayhem and assault in the attack that permanently disabled Bryan Stow with brain damage.
Photo: Irfan Khan, Associated Press
Bryan Stow beating suspects to plead guilty
(02-20) 07:39 PST LOS ANGELES -- Two men are expected to plead guilty Thursday in connection with the March 2011 beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, according to published reports.
Louie Sanchez, 31, and Marvin Norwood, 32, both of San Bernardino County, are expected to enter guilty pleas in Los Angeles County Superior Court, NBC News and the Los Angeles Times reported, citing unidentified sources. The two men have been charged with mayhem, assault and battery in connection with Stow's beating.
Sanchez is expected to be sentenced to eight years in prison while Norwood is to receive a four-year sentence, the news outlets reported.
Stow, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, suffered a near-fatal brain injury and is expected to be disabled for the rest of his life.
He had driven with three friends March 31, 2011, to see the Giants play their first game since winning the 2010 World Series. At a preliminary hearing in 2012, Los Angeles County prosecutors portrayed Sanchez as an out-of-control Dodgers fan who surprised Stow after the game with a sucker-punch, causing him to fall back unconscious and slam his head.
Prosecutors spent much of the hearing trying to establish that Stow and his friends had done nothing to provoke the punch that knocked Stow unconscious.
In ordering Sanchez and Norwood to stand trial, a judge cited a secretly taped jail-cell conversation between the two men made in July 2011, four months after the beating. The defendants did not mention Stow by name, but they discussed what they should tell police about an altercation with Giants fans who they said had been denigrating the Dodgers and their fans in the parking lot.
"It's all my fault," Sanchez said, according to a transcript of the tape.
"I'm gonna fry regardless, bro," Norwood responded. "They pretty much got it. They got it, bro."
Norwood added, "I don't get how ... we are the bad guys because something misfortunate happened to, you know, their side."
In addition to the beating, Sanchez and Norwood are charged in federal court with illegal gun possession, the result of a search of Norwood's home when he was arrested July 21, 2011.
Stow's family's wrote on their website on Valentine's Day that he turned 45 two days earlier. "He works so hard physically and cognitively that he is exhausted most days," family members wrote.
They said they shaved his head recently, "and it was shocking to see the damage to his skull. Seeing him stare at the mirror was heartbreaking. Watching him touch the shunt that protrudes on the right side of his skull, the slightly sunken-in left side and all the deep scars, was heartbreaking."
Relatives said they "tried to make light of it and told him that no one else would still be that good looking. Of course he agreed!"