One of two felons who beat Bryan Stow nearly to death in a Dodger Stadium parking lot was sentenced Thursday to six years in federal prison for weapons possession, a term that will add about three years to his state prison sentence.
Louie Alexander Sanchez, a 33-year-old former warehouse worker from Rialto, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin to serve three years of supervised release after he gets out of prison.
The judge said Sanchez — whose attack on Stow, carried out with co- defendant Marvin Norwood, left the San Francisco Giants fan with permanent brain injuries — is “a son, a brother, a nephew and a father” and “there is more to him” than his criminal record, which the judge said was “significant.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Max Shiner, arguing for an eight-year federal sentence, countered that Sanchez “has proven that he’s dangerous” and “doesn’t understand the nature of his criminal activity.”
Although the federal weapons count does not directly involve the Stow beating, Shiner has referred to Sanchez as the main aggressor. He was observed punching Stow “in the left side of the head without warning,” and then watching as the victim went “limp and hit the pavement, banging his head on the ground,” before kicking him “three separate times with full force,” according to the government’s sentencing papers.
Sanchez, chained at the waist, wrist and ankles, said he wished to apologize “to society as a whole,” before turning to address his 15-year-old son, who sat with about a dozen other family members.
The defendant promised the teen that he would make up for lost time once he is released.
Before handing down the sentence, Olguin delivered a brief personal history on Sanchez, mentioning his birth in Monterey Park to parents who work at a medical supply company. A sister, Doreen, is in a five-year relationship with Norwood, who is scheduled for sentencing on May 21, the judge said.
Sanchez, a high-school dropout with a background in plumbing, painting and maintenance, was “raised in a normal loving family,” Olguin said.
In a handwritten letter to the judge, Sanchez wrote that “unfortunately Mr. Stow got hurt and I send my deepest sympathy to Mr. Stow and his family. This unexpected event was an accident — I pray the court to show mercy.” Sanchez was previously sentenced to eight years in state prison after pleading guilty in Los Angeles County Superior Court to a felony count of mayhem for the 2011 attack on Stow.
His 34-year-old co-defendant was sentenced to four years in state prison after pleading guilty to assault causing great bodily injury. A federal grand jury indicted Sanchez and Norwood in March 2014, shortly after their guilty pleas in state court, on the firearms charge.
During a search at Norwood’s Rialto home before the pair were arrested in July 2011, investigators located five firearms and live ammunition belonging to Sanchez hidden in an attic.
Norwood was taken into federal custody a day after he was sentenced in state court. He had spent eight months in county jail beyond the two years of the four-year sentence he was required to serve as part of a plea deal in the Stow assault and was about to be released before federal authorities pounced.
Authorities found about the weapons — two semiautomatic rifles and a pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a revolver — along with nearly 70 rounds of ammunition when they searched Norwood’s home in connection with the Stow assault.
Norwood told police that the guns were not his and that he had allowed Sanchez to store them at his residence. Federal authorities, however, said they determined that the weapons were in the possession of, and available to, both men.
Court records showed both Norwood and Sanchez had prior convictions in San Bernardino before the unprovoked Stow assault at Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2011. Stow, who is from the Bay area, had been wearing Giants gear.
Sanchez was convicted of evading an officer in 2006 and a misdemeanor count of domestic violence in 2003. Norwood was found guilty of felony spousal assault in 2006, the indictment shows.
The weapons and ammunition were recovered from the garage attic crawl space at Norwood’s home.
Stow, now 46, remains severely impaired with permanent brain damage. The divorced father of two and former Santa Cruz paramedic spent the first two years after the attack in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. He lives with his parents and still requires daily care by his family.
Last month, he threw out the first pitch at the San Jose Giants minor league opening game.
A civil jury last July awarded roughly $18 million in damages to Stow. But after a lengthy deliberation, the panel found that only Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, the business entity created by ex-Dodgers owner Frank McCourt when he owned the team, and Stow’s two assailants were liable.
Los Angeles Dodgers LLC will have to pay about $14.1 million of the final judgment. But the panel exonerated McCourt of any liability in the attack.
—City News Service
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