February 20, 2014 / 7:20 PM / 4 years ago

Two men plead guilty in 2011 Dodger Stadium beating

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two men were sentenced to prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to charges stemming from the severe beating of a San Francisco Giants fan outside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on opening day of the baseball season in 2011.

Bryan Stow, a 45-year-old paramedic and father of two from Northern California, was left with brain damage from the attack in the stadium’s parking lot after a game between the Dodgers and Giants on March 31, 2011.

Stow’s beating raised questions about security at Dodger Stadium and led to calls to address violence tied to sports rivalries.

Louie Sanchez, who was accused of attacking Stow from behind and knocking him to the ground, pleaded guilty to a felony count of mayhem, which includes physical attack, and was sentenced to eight years in prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement.

Sanchez, 31, admitted to punching Stow and kicking him when he was on the ground, said District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison. Sanchez had faced a possible maximum prison sentence of 11 years under the charge.

Marvin Norwood, 33, who assisted Sanchez by physically blocking Stow’s friends from helping him, pleaded guilty to assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and was sentenced to four years behind bars, prosecutors said.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George Lomeli told the two men they had ruined the lives of Stow and those close to him.

“One day, you’re going to be released and Mr. Stow will forever be trapped in the medical condition you caused him,” Lomeli said at the hearing.

Stow’s sister, Bonnie, told the court her family has to shower and dress him and give him numerous medications daily.

“I envy those who can forgive others who commit crimes against their loved ones,” she said. “I am here today to say I am not one of those people.”

Stow and his friends were leaving Dodger Stadium after the Dodgers beat the Giants 2-1. Sanchez and Norwood taunted Stow, who was wearing a Giants jersey, before the attack, police said.

As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped charges of mayhem and battery against Norwood and did not pursue battery and assault charges against Sanchez, according to court documents.

The Stow family has been posting updates on the Web about Bryan Stow.

“We recently shaved Bryan’s head and it was shocking to see the damage to his skull,” said a post on the website on Friday. “Seeing him stare at himself in the mirror was heartbreaking.”

Last year, a 24-year-old Dodgers fan was stabbed to death near the San Francisco Giants stadium, AT&T Park, after a game. Prosecutors declined to file charges against a man arrested in the incident, saying he appeared to have acted in self defense.

Additional reporting by Dana Feldman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Gunna Dickson

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