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LOS ANGELES (CBS SF) — Prosecutors say one of the two men who pleaded guilty Thursday in the beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow could be released immediately after receiving credit for time already served.
Defendants Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez entered guilty pleas Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court in the attack at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day in 2011 that left Stow brain damaged and disabled.
Norwood, 32, pleaded guilty to assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury while the 31-year-old Sanchez pleaded guilty to a felony count of mayhem.
As part of the plea deal, other charges were dropped. Both men had originally been charged with mayhem, assault likely to produce great bodily injury, and battery with serious bodily injury.
In court, Judge George Lomeli called both men “complete cowards” for the beating they inflicted on Stow after he was already down on the ground. Lomeli singled out Sanchez for smirking in court and said he showed no remorse.
Norwood received a four-year term, but prosecutors said time served and other credits could allow him to be released immediately, according to Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee. Sanchez was handed an eight-year state prison term, along with credit for time served.
However, federal authorities have charged both men with weapons possession charges that if convicted could send them to federal prison for an additional 10 years.
Stow, a 45-year-old paramedic from Santa Cruz, was beaten in a parking lot after 2011′s opening day game between the Giants and Dodgers. He suffered brain damage and is permanently disabled, requiring 24-hour-a-day care.
The beating prompted increased security and heightened concerns over fan violence at sports venues around the country.
Prior to sentencing, members of Stow’s family addressed the two men directly.
“What you did late in the evening, in the dark, was cowardly,” Stow’s father David said as Sanchez appeared to smirk. “The years you cretins spend in prison is what you deserve.”
Stow’s two sisters also spoke, one who read a statement from his wife.
Bonnie Stow, described her brother’s anguished life.
“We shower him, we dress him, we fix his meals,” she said. “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.”
Lomeli told the men: “You not only ruined the life of Mr. Stow (but) his children, his family, his friends.”
Outside court, Hanisee said prosecutors had obtained sentences close to the maximum possible if they had been convicted at trial. She said there were insufficient facts to justify a charge of attempted murder which was considered.
In response to one of the family members’ comments, she said, “They did get off easy. Brian Stow is serving a life sentence in a wheelchair and diapers. He is never going to get better.”
If there is any positive outcome, Hanisee said attention has been drawn to the problem of fan violence at sports events.
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