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, 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.”
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.
Mrozek added that could happen as early as Friday.
Hours after Norwood and Sanchez pleaded guilty, the L.A. Dodgers released a statement.
“We are pleased that the culpable parties have finally accepted responsibility for their actions and have been sentenced for their crimes,” the emailed statement read.
The organization declined to comment further because of “pending civil action.”