Accused in Stow case in court

Updated: September 30, 2011, 6:58 PM ET
By Ramona Shelburne | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- The attorney for Louis Sanchez, one of the two men charged with assaulting Giants fan Bryan Stow on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, said Friday that he does not believe Sanchez's sister, Dorene Sanchez, implicated her brother in statements made to prosecutors or a grand jury.

Prosecutors have said they will not charge Dorene Sanchez in connection with the case, but she is expected to be a key witness.

"In terms of my client's sister implicating her brother, I believe that has been 'mischaracterized,'" Sanchez's attorney Gilbert Quinones said Friday outside of Los Angeles Superior Court.

Prosecutors have previously said that their case is primarily based on incriminating statements made by Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, the other man charged in the case, and several key witnesses, including Dorene Sanchez, who is also Norwood's longtime girlfriend.

Daniel Nardoni, the attorney for Dorene Sanchez, said his client attended the Dodgers-Giants game on Opening Day with her brother, boyfriend and Sanchez' son, but denied that she witnessed any incident.

"She did not witness anything," Nardoni said. "In a case of this magnitude, if the prosecution felt that Dorene Sanchez committed a crime that day, she would've been charged with a crime."

Sanchez and Norwood appeared in court Friday where their attorneys continued to object to cameras in the courtroom because of identification issues. They will next appear in court Nov. 4, when a date for a preliminary hearing will be set. Sanchez's parents attended Friday's hearing, but declined to speak to the media.

Quinones and Victor Escobedo, the attorney for Norwood, both withheld comment on the strengths of the prosecution's case until they had time to review some 800 pages of evidence against their clients, which prosecutors turned over on Friday.

Quinones said prosecutors had also turned over surveillance video from the stadium, aerial photographs and videotaped witness statements.

Sanchez has also been charged with two misdemeanor offenses from two separate incidents that day.

"We need to sort out which incidents, if any, that my client was involved in," Quinones said. "There were a lot of incidents at Dodger Stadium that day."

Stow, the 42-year-old father of two from Santa Cruz, remains hospitalized in San Francisco, but has made significant progress, responding to questions, interacting with family members and speaking for the first time.

If convicted, Sanchez faces a maximum of nine years in prison. Norwood would face eight years.

Police initially arrested Giovanni Ramirez as a suspect in the case but have since exonerated him. However Ramirez remains in state prison on a parole violation because a gun was found in a laundry basket at the address he listed as his residence. His motion to be released from prison was denied last week.

On Friday judge Thomas Lomelli granted a prosecution motion for evidence belonging to Ramirez to be released back to him or his family.

Ramona Shelburne is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

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