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Stow beating preliminary hearing: Eyewitness, LAPD detective testify

May 31, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Thursday marked the second day of a preliminary hearing in the Bryan Stow beating case. A witness testified that two men who looked like the suspects were seen harassing San Francisco Giants fans shortly before Stow was brutally attacked in a parking lot at Dodger Stadium in 2011.

The suspects were described as being rowdy and violent to anyone who was wearing San Francisco Giants colors.

One eyewitness testified that after the game on opening day last year she saw two men in the parking lot who looked like the suspects, Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez, smoking marijuana and harassing San Francisco Giants fans as they walked by.

"They punched one or two of them and started saying '[expletive] the Giants,'" said eyewitness Ana Maria Davila. "A lot of different fans coming by and a lot of slurs being said to different random people."

Davila says when another group of fans walked by, presumably including Bryan Stow, the two men went after them. She says she didn't see what happened, but after a few minutes she saw the men trying to leave the area.

"They were running towards the white car," said Davila. "They were out of breath. One of them had his jersey in his hand and they were saying 'Drive, drive, drive.'"

This occurred around the time Stow was attacked in the parking lot after the game. According to court documents, the prosecution claims Norwood and Louie Sanchez shoved Stow, followed him, then punched him and kicked him in the side of the head after knocking him unconscious.

Davila says she gave police a description of the suspects and the LAPD made composite sketches.

On the stand Davila was not asked if the men she saw that day were the suspects.

A police detective also testified Thursday. The defense pointed out that those sketches originally led detectives to Giovanni Ramirez, who turned out to be the wrong person.

"When the case was assigned to Robbery-Homicide Division, Giovanni Ramirez was our main focus," said LAPD Detective Barry Telis. "As we investigated further, we realized that Giovanni Ramirez was not the suspect."

Stow won't be able to testify at this hearing. In a dramatic moment, the prosecutor placed into the record a statement of his condition.

"Bryan Stow is unable to walk, has loss of motor skills in his arms and hands," said L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanisee. "He's unable to carry on a normal conversation. Bryan Stow will require skilled long-term care and daily assistance for the remainder of his life."

Two of Stow's friends are scheduled to testify Friday. They were next to Stow when the attack occurred.

Sanchez and Norwood have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Sanchez's lawyer said his client may have been mistakenly identified, as Ramirez was. Both men could face a maximum of 10 years in prison if they are convicted of the charges

Norwood and Sanchez will face a separate trial in federal court after investigators found the two allegedly possessed weapons illegally. Officials said numerous guns were found hidden in the attic of Norwood's home.


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