Men ordered to trial in SF Giants fan attack in LA
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man ordered Friday to stand trial for the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium acknowledged the attack in a jailhouse conversation, according to a transcript of the recorded discussion.
"I socked him, jumped him and started beating him," the transcript quotes defendant Louis Sanchez.
The account of the talk between Sanchez, 30, and co-defendant Marvin Norwood, 31, was released after a preliminary hearing where both men were ordered to stand trial on charges of mayhem, assault and battery in the 2011 attack on Bryan Stow.
Stow, a paramedic from Northern California who attended last year's opening day game in Los Angeles, suffered brain damage and is permanently disabled.
The violence sparked scrutiny of stadium security and fan behavior.
Prosecutors said the conversation between Sanchez and Norwood was secretly recorded after they appeared in a lineup last July.
Sanchez was heard saying he got mad at the Giants' fan for making derogatory remarks to his sister about the Dodgers.
He also apologized to Norwood for dragging him into the situation, but Norwood said he wouldn't have felt like a man if he hadn't stepped in to help Sanchez.
The recording of the conversation was played during the hearing but was indecipherable without the written transcript.
Superior Court Judge George Lomeli listened to five days of testimony and evidence before concluding there will be a trial.
Deputy District Attorney Michele Hanessey cited the jailhouse recording and the testimony of numerous witnesses in arguing in court for the men to stand trial.
"This case is also about many admissions by the defendants," she said.
Quoting from the tape, she noted that Norwood said, "'We're the bad guys because something misfortunate happened.'"
The prosecutor added caustically, in reference to Stow, "Who else had something so misfortunate happen that the whole country remembers it?"
At one point in the talk, Norwood says, "As soon as the media finds out, all hell is going to break loose."
The men also wonder aloud whether someone in prison might try to harm them.
The expletive-filled conversation features Sanchez and Norwood discussing details of the night at the stadium and trying to figure out what to tell police.
"We need to come up with a good (expletive) defense," Norwood says.
"They harassed my sister," suggests Sanchez.
He also considered saying there were six or seven Giants fans who jumped him first. But Norwood was skeptical.
"Dude, they're gonna say you were looking for a fight the whole night," he says.
Norwood is the fiance of Sanchez' sister, Dorene, who testified at the hearing under a grant of immunity. They have a 2-year-old child.
Dorene Sanchez was teary-eyed while standing in the courthouse hallway after the judge's ruling. Asked if she still loves the two men, she put her hand to her chest and said emotionally, "That's my heart."
During their talk, the men mentioned that another man had been arrested for the crime earlier and said casually they didn't remember seeing him at the stadium.
They also talked about their ruined lives.
"I was gonna get a new job," Sanchez says. "I don't think I'm going to get it though."
"Yeah, tell me about it," says Norwood. "I just got a new job."
Both men have pleaded not guilty. The defense did not present a case during the preliminary hearing, which is typical in such proceedings.
Dorene Sanchez testified that she never saw Stow on the night of March 31, 2011, and did not witness the beating, but her testimony was critical because it placed both defendants in the midst of a fight after the game let out.
She said Norwood ran to her car with blood on his hand while Sanchez 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.
In earlier testimony, Mary Dolores Donely identified both defendants as the men she saw near Stow's prone body.
She testified that she heard Stow's head hit the pavement with a crack then saw a man she identified as Louie Sanchez kick him in the head and attempt to punch him.
In court, she pointed to Sanchez as the assailant and identified Norwood as a cohort who left the scene with him.