The second of two felons who beat Bryan Stow almost to death in a Dodger Stadium parking lot was sentenced Thursday to 2 1/2 years in federal prison for weapons possession, a sentence that will result in his release next year.
Marvin Norwood, 34, told the court that he wished to “apologize and ask for forgiveness from Mr. Stow. I made a mistake. I’m only human.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Max Shiner, who argued for a nearly five-year sentence, said that although Norwood was not charged with the Stow attack in the weapons case, both crimes were “entwined.”
Along with the prison sentence — which began on the day Norwood was taken into federal custody last year — U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin sentenced Norwood to serve three years of supervised release after he gets out of prison.
The firearms case arose after police investigating the Stow assault found semi-automatic rifles, other weapons and ammunition belonging to co- defendant Louie Sanchez at Norwood’s Rialto home. Olguin said there was no evidence Norwood intended to use the guns and did not stand to benefit from hiding them at his home.
Instead, Norwood showed a “naive willingness to help his fiancee’s brother” by allowing Sanchez to stash the weapons in a garage attic crawl space.
Arguing for an 18-month term for her client, defense attorney Nadine Hettle said the weapons charge indicates that Norwood “chooses his friends poorly and tolerates their criminal conduct.”
But Shiner urged the judge to consider Norwood’s own criminal history, which includes a felony spousal assault conviction in which a woman suffered a broken nose when the defendant threw a purse at her.
As for the Stow assault, Shiner said Norwood kicked the victim while he was on the ground, then fled the scene with his fiancee, Sanchez and a 10-year- old child.
“What happened that day was absolutely tragic,” Hettle said, adding that Norwood also tried to stop Stow’s friends from attacking Sanchez.
“He thought his friend was going to get beaten up,” the attorney said.
In a letter to the court, Norwood’s fiancee, Dorene Sanchez, wrote that the defendant deserves leniency because he is needed at home as a “father figure” to her two children.
“He was always there for them, whenever they needed him,” Louie Sanchez’s sister wrote.
The woman allegedly drove the “getaway vehicle” for the two men after the Stow attack and was granted “use immunity” for her testimony in the preliminary hearing of the beating case in state court.
However, Shiner said Norwood deserves 57 months behind bars since he has for many years “engaged in violent criminal activity that gets him in trouble.”
Shackled and sporting a bushy beard, Norwood told the judge his biggest mistake “is the friends I choose. I know right from wrong.”
He said he was happy that several children from his family had attended the sentencing, “so they can use me as an example of what not to do.”
Norwood was transferred to federal custody in February 2014 after serving almost three years behind bars for Stow’s beating.
Sanchez, 33, was sentenced a few weeks ago to six years in federal prison for weapons possession, a term that will add about three years to his state prison sentence for the Stow attack.
Authorities found five weapons — two semi-automatic rifles and a pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a revolver — along with almost 70 rounds of ammunition when they searched Norwood’s home in connection with the Stow assault.
Norwood told police the guns were not his and that he had allowed Sanchez to store them at his residence. Federal authorities, however, determined 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.
A federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted Norwood and Sanchez on the firearms charge in March 2014, shortly after their guilty pleas in state court.
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.
In a jail recording, Norwood told Sanchez: “They got the guns. There ain’t no getting around that,” court papers show.
—City News Service