Two men suspected of beating San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium last year have been ordered to stand trial, a judge ruled Friday.
"There is sufficient cause for which to conclude the defendants are responsible for the charges referenced," said Superior Court Judge George Lomeli, following a five-day preliminary hearing.
Louie Sanchez, 30, and Marvin Norwood, 31, were arrested last July. The pair are accused of mayhem and assault and battery in the attack on Stow, a paramedic from Northern California who attended last season's opening day game at Dodger Stadium. Stow suffered brain damage and is permanently disabled.
The next court appearance for Sanchez and Norwood was scheduled for June 22, Lomeli ruled.
Under the judge's ruling Friday, Sanchez and Norwood will each face three felony counts: for mayhem, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and battery with serious bodily injury. Sanchez will also face allegations that he inflicted great bodily injury on Stow in the assault and battery counts; the judge decided Norwood will not face those allegations.
Sanchez will further face two misdemeanor counts -- one for battery related to a run-in with a female Giants fan, and one for assault on an unidentified young man whom Sanchez allegedly swung a fist at.
The judge addressed the issue of witness identification before he announced there would be a trial. Several witnesses during the preliminary hearing referred to the men that they saw involved in the parking lot altercation as the "shorter one" and "taller one."
In court Thursday, witness Mary Dolores Donley, who attended the game with family members, told the court she heard shouting and a scuffle before turning around to see the altercation involving Stow.
"You had a number of witnesses who, and I will agree, could not identify the defendant," said Lomeli. "But who, did state, could reiterate the attack and could state that the shorter one did such and such and the taller one engaged in this misconduct. That was clarified when Ms. (Dolores) Donley testified that the taller one was Mr. Norwood, she identified him in court, and the shorter one was Mr. Sanchez."
Donley said she approached the scene with her husband -- after hearing a man yelling profane comments -- when she heard Stow hit the ground with a sound she described as a "horrible noise."
"It was a sound I never heard before," she said.
Donley added that she witnessed Sanchez attempt to take a swing at Stow as he lay, seemingly unconscious, on the ground face-up with blood coming from his ears. When prompted to identify the man she picked out in the photo line-up, Donley singled out Sanchez.
"The one that had kicked Bryan Stow in the head?" Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman asked during the proceedings.
"Yes," Donley responded.
Donley also identified Norwood in court as the man she had seen roughly 15 to 20 feet away who later approached Sanchez and urged him to leave the scene after the attack. Donley is the first prosecution witness to place Sanchez and Norwood at the scene. Other witnesses said they could not conclusively identify the two suspects.
Corey Maciel, a paramedic and friend of Stow who placed a 911 call immediately after the incident, could not place the two men at the scene when he testified in court Wednesday.
"It was a Dodgers fan in Dodgers jersey," Maciel said during the call. "There's no way to identify him. If I saw him, I could recognize him, but he's gone."
Dorene Sanchez, the sister of Louie Sanchez and girlfriend of Norwood, said in court Thursday that one of the men ran to her car with blood on his hand while the other shouted expletives. She said she waited at the car while the pair chased down some Giants fans following a verbal confrontation, adding that she was alarmed when the two returned.
"I was scared when they both told me, 'Let’s get the [expletive] out of here,'" she said. "I had no idea what had happened until I saw blood on Marvin's hand."
Dorene Sanchez said Norwood told her to "not worry about it" when she asked him about the blood on his hand.
Stow suffered a skull fracture from the beating that left him unable to walk, carry on a normal conversation or control his bodily functions. He faced the loss of motor skills in his arms and hands and will require daily assistance for the rest of his life, according to a stipulation read in court and signed by attorneys on both sides of the case.
Lomeli also decided Friday to publicly release a transcript of a 12-minute audiotaped jailhouse conversation between Louie Sanchez and Norwood in July 2011. They spoke after they had appeared in a lineup.
Sanchez was recorded saying he got mad at the Giants' fan for making derogatory remarks to his sister. In his words, "I socked him, jumped him and started beating him."
The conversation was played at a preliminary hearing but was indecipherable. The transcript was released by the judge when the hearing ended.