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Bryan Stow attack: Judge orders suspects to stand trial

June 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
After hearing five days of testimony, a judge on Friday ordered two men to stand trial in the brutal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium last year.

After 5 days of testimony Superior Court Judge George Lomeli gave a very quick decision.

"There is sufficient cause on which to conclude the defendants are responsible for the charges referenced," said Lomeli.

Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood were charged with mayhem, assault and battery on Stow. Sanchez is also accused of an enhancement alleging he caused great bodily injury to Stow, but the judge dropped the accusation against Norwood.

"Mr. Norwood started out as being the ultimate peacemaker in this matter, I think that things got out of hand, he (Sanchez) probably lost control, Mr. Sanchez, but it remains that ultimately, he (Norwood) took part, maybe less culpable, in the actual attack," said Lomeli.

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, Norwood faces nine years in prison if convicted and Louie Sanchez faces 11 years. If Stow were to die at any point in time as a direct result of the injuries from the beating, the two men could be charged with second-degree murder.

In a statement posted Friday to Support4BryanStow.com, Stow's family addressed the decision for a trial to move forward:

"Ever since March 31, 2011, we have had the utmost respect and confidence in the LAPD, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. We will continue to thank and praise them for all their dedication and hard work, regardless of the outcome, even after this is long over. Obviously we want justice, but that wouldn't even be possible if it weren't for all that has been put into it."

Dorene Sanchez, the sister of Louie Sanchez and the girlfriend of Norwood, testified Thursday under a grant of immunity from prosecution. She described what happened the night of March 31, 2011 when Stow, a paramedic from Northern California, nearly lost his life on opening day.

"The last two days have been a difficult and emotional situation for her being called to testify about two people she loves," said Dorene Sanchez's attorney, Daniel Nardoni.

While she never saw Stow and did not witness the beating, her testimony was critical because it placed both defendants in the midst of a fight after the baseball game let out.

Dorene Sanchez testified that one of the men ran to her car from a fight with blood on his hand, while the other man spewed profanity. She said neither man told her what had happened but she became suspicious when she later saw a TV report on the beating, which left Stow severely disabled.

Dorene Sanchez had been arrested as an accessory after the fact but was not charged and she was given immunity from prosecution to testify.

The defense claims numerous witnesses couldn't really identify these suspects as the ones who beat Bryan Stow. They say there were a number of incidents that day.

"There was a bunch of Giants fans and Dodger fans yelling profanities at each other, getting into scuffles, getting in to altercations, and the question is ultimately, is it this particular group?" said Louie Sanchez's attorney Gilbert Qui?ones.

Until Thursday, no witness had positively identified the men as having been involved in the violence at the stadium. But in addition to the account by Sanchez, Mary Dolores Donely identified both defendants as the men she saw near Stow's body.

In court, she pointed to Sanchez as the assailant and identified Norwood as a cohort who left the scene with him.

Both men have pleaded not guilty.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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