Monday, July 25, 2011
Bryan Stow suspects assaulted others?
By Ramona Shelburne
LOS ANGELES -- Police officials said Monday they are continuing to investigate the two men charged in the brutal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium because they believe the men attacked other fans after the game.
Louie Sanchez, 29, and 30-year-old Marvin Norwood have been charged with three felonies in connection with the attack on Stow. Sanchez also is accused of misdemeanor battery on a woman at the game. The Associated Press, citing an unnamed official, said the woman was wearing a Giants shirt and Sanchez threw something at her.
Police captain Andrew Smith said Monday that the department is still investigating because others possibly were victimized. The official said police believe there were three victims besides Stow.
"We're trying to find out if there are any other victims, anyone in the parking lot, anyone along the third-base line," Smith said following a scheduled press conference with LAPD chief Charlie Beck was canceled.
Smith added that police believe Sanchez and Norwood watched the game from seats along the third-base line. Stow, who remains hospitalized with a brain injury, watched the game from the outfield bleachers. The attack of the 42-year-old paramedic from Santa Cruz occurred near a taxi stand in a dimly lit lot after the game.
Sanchez and Norwood appeared briefly in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday. Their scheduled arraignment was postponed until Aug. 10.
If convicted, Sanchez faces a maximum of nine years in prison and Norwood would face eight years.
The two were arrested late Thursday night in Rialto, a suburb approximately 55 miles east of Los Angeles. Beck said at a news conference Friday that Giovanni Ramirez, the man police initially arrested on May 22 as the primary suspect, had been exonerated in the case.
Norwood's court-appointed attorney, Lee Rosen, argued unsuccessfully for his client's bail to be reduced from $500,000 to $100,000. It was denied after prosecutor Michele Hanisee argued that Norwood was a "danger to the community."
Prosecutors said in a court filing that five firearms, including an AR15 assault rifle, were recovered in a search of Norwood's house in Rialto and that both Norwood and Sanchez had access to the weapons.
Prosecutors also alleged that Sanchez told witnesses not to provide information about the crime.
The Los Angeles Times, citing police sources, reported that the suspects bragged to their co-workers after the attacks. However, the AP, also citing an unnamed police official, said some of those witnesses are now backing off those statements and that the case hinges on incriminating statements the men have made.
Norwood works as a carpenter, Rosen said in court Monday. Sanchez is a supervisor at a Fontana-based car auction house.
Sanchez will appear again in court next Monday to have his bail deviation hearing heard. His attorney Gilbert Quinones said outside of the courthouse Monday that while he hasn't had much time to confer with his client. "He doesn't fit the profile of somebody who would commit this type of crime," Quinones said.
"He's a family man, he's a supervisor at an auto auction for many years. He has stable employment and been at the same residence for the last 15, 16 years. He gets along well with neighbors and the children in the neighborhood."
Quinones also said he "finds it hard to believe" that Sanchez's sister, Doreen Sanchez, would've implicated her brother or Norwood, her longtime boyfriend, under questioning by police or in grand jury testimony.
Quinones acknowledged that his client was at Dodger Stadium on March 31.
"He's a Dodger fan," Quinones said. "He was at the game with his family: His sister, his brother-in-law and his child."
Cameras were not allowed during Sanchez and Norwood's court appearance on Monday. Both men faced away from the courtroom during the hearing. District Attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said her office had not objected to cameras being in the courtroom.
Both defense attorneys objected, and asked that sketches being drawn of the two suspects by a reporter in the front row be confiscated and destroyed.
Smith confirmed that both men have already taken part in a lineup for eyewitnesses to the attack. However, Quinones said he felt that protecting their identity was still a concern for future investigations.
"I do have that concern whenever a defendant's image is displayed to television or print media, there's always the possibility that one of the 50,000 people at the game will see that and think, 'Oh, that was the guy,' based on seeing it in the media and not just making an identification from the game," he said.
Police officials had planned to reveal their booking photos and information about the investigation Monday afternoon, but that was canceled at the request of the DA's office, Smith said.
Previous mugshots of both men were released by San Bernadino County officials over the weekend, however their recent booking photos have been kept confidential.
Norwood has a felony conviction for domestic violence, while Sanchez has several convictions for driving under the influence and a conviction for evading the police, for which he was sentenced to state prison, according to court filings.
Outside the courthouse, Gibbons clarified the mayhem charge against both men, which reads that the defendants "unlawfully and maliciously deprive Bryan Stow of a member of the body and did disable, disfigure and render it useless and did cut and disable the tongue, and put out an eye and slit the nose, ear and lip of said person."
Gibbons said that "doesn't mean anyone lost an eye or had their tongue cut off. ... It means that the victim sufferend very serious injuries, injuries that would disfigure or impair."
Court records show Norwood was sentenced in 2006 to three years' probation and served 118 days in jail after pleading guilty to one felony count of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.
In 2003, Sanchez pleaded guilty to one felony count of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, and the following year he pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of carrying a loaded firearm in a public place.
Ramona Shelburne is a columnist and reporter for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.