Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Not guilty pleas in Bryan Stow attack
By Ramona Shelburne
LOS ANGELES -- The two men charged in the brutal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on Opening Day pleaded not guilty to criminal charges Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court House.
Judge Upinder Kalra set the preliminary hearing for defendants Louie Sanchez, 29, and Marvin Norwood, 30, for Sept. 30.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that their case is primarily based on incriminating statements made by both of the defendants and several key witnesses, including Sanchez's
sister Dorene Sanchez, who is the longtime girlfriend of Norwood.
In a discussion regarding whether to allow cameras in the courtroom, deputy district attorney Frank Santoro revealed that all 20 witnesses in the case have already been asked to identify the defendants.
Only one witness was able to identify Sanchez. No witnesses identified Norwood.
However, prosecutors allege that both defendants have implicated themselves either in the statements they made to police or in conversations they had while in custody that were recorded.
In a court filing last week, prosecutors alleged that "while in a jail cell awaiting a lineup, Sanchez told his co-defendant Norwood not to say anything to anyone."
Sanchez's lawyer, Gilbert Quinones, said outside of court that he didn't feel like making comments about the case until he had a chance to review "25 binders" of evidence prosecutors have against his client. Quinones said he has previously only viewed "about 20 pages" of evidence.
Asked about his reaction to the lack of witness identifications of either his client or Norwood, Quinones said, "That's a good piece of information to have."
Wednesday in court, both Quinones and Victor Escobedo, the attorney for Norwood, were handed Dorene Sanchez's sealed grand jury testimony.
That testimony was not made available to the public, and will not be made available unless it is read in open court during the preliminary hearing or a trial.
Quinones had previously said he doubted that any of Sanchez's family members would make incriminating statements against him. After being presented with Dorene Sanchez's grand jury testimony, he said he needed time to review it before commenting.
Quinones withdrew a motion to have Sanchez's bail reduced from $500,000 to $100,000 on Wednesday, but said it "was for strategic reasons" and that he could resubmit that request at a later date.
He said he had not been given any statements made to police by Louie Sanchez's 11-year-old son, who attended the game with his father, Dorene Sanchez and Norwood on Opening Day but acknowledged that he believes Sanchez's son has spoken to detectives.
In a court filing last week, prosecutors alleged that Sanchez told his son not to talk to anyone about what happened on Opening Day.
Sanchez has also been charged with two misdemeanors in separate attacks that day.
The district attorney's office also said it would not file charges against Dorene Sanchez, who had been arrested on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact, but prosecutors found insufficient evidence against her.
Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.