Graphic testimony dominates Stow hearing
Details of the events that unfolded in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on March 31st, 2011 are starting to come together.
In a preliminary hearing Wednesday, a Los Angeles Superior Court aimed to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to charge two men, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, for the viscous post-ballgame attack on Bryan Stow.
Stow’s friend and fellow paramedic, Corey Maciel, testified that Dodger fans were taunting them as they headed out of the stadium toward the parking lot. Stow said “I hope they code,” which is a medical term for “suffering cardiac arrest.”
Based on what Maciel told the judge, Stow was not speaking directly at the taunters, but his words were uttered loud enough that they responded with:
“What … did you say, homie?”
At that point, Maciel said he and Stow were “just trying to get away.” But the alleged attackers followed them out into the dark parking lot. Maciel testified that one man got Stow’s attention while another man struck him with “a long, sweeping haymaker.”
The next few moments were sickeningly graphic, said Maciel.
“I watched the back of his head bounce off the concrete and I heard the crack as it happened.”
As Maciel tried to help his friend, the attackers continued their assault – one attacker landed a kick to Stow’s ribs while the other connected on shots to his head, he said.
“Not just kicks. These were whole wind-up, hard-as-you-can kicks.”
Two other eyewitnesses have stepped forward in an effort to identify the attackers. One of them, Monique Gonzalez, told the judge she heard Stow tell the attackers “Leave us alone. It’s just a game. We are going home.”
Clearly Stow’s plea for peace didn’t work.
Thursday, a second witness, Mary Dolores Donely told the judge that she heard the same sound of Stow’s head hitting the ground that Maciel described. She was also able to ID one of the attackers, pointing to Louie Sanchez.
The attorneys for Sanchez and Norwood tried to discredit Donely because she was not able to identify Norwood during a police lineup last July, and while she eventually picked Sanchez out of a lineup, she previously thought another member of the lineup looked like the attacker.
Dorene Sanchez, the sister of suspect Louie Sanchez, and also the fiancee of suspect Marvin Norwood, also testified today. She was with the suspects at the game, and reportedly the “getaway driver” for Sanchez and Norwood.
According to ABC7-Los Angeles, Dorene was originally arrested as an accessory to the attack, but she was released and given immunity against any charges for testifying against her brother and her fiancee. She didn’t witness the altercation but testified to what happened afterward – she was waiting for Norwood and Sanchez in her car with Sanchez’ and 10-year-old-son.
“As he’s (Louie Sanchez) approaching my vehicle, he told me, ‘Dorene, let’s get the [expletive] out of here.”
She then testified that her fiancee, Norwood, returned to the car and there was blood on his hands. He wouldn’t tell her what happened, just telling her to drive.
She also said Louie Sanchez told his son not to mention the altercation to his mother, who did not attend the game.
The Chronicle’s Demian Bulwa tweeted from the courtroom an exchange between Dorene Sanchez and the prosecutor:
“This type of assaultive behavior – is it typical of your brother?,” the prosecutor asked.
“When drinking, yes,” Sanchez answered.
Bulwa believes testimony will conclude either today or tomorrow. At that point, the judge will decide whether to proceed with the charges against Sanchez and Norwood. They are being charged with mayhem, assault and battery, and Sanchez has two more standing charges of battery against him concerning other altercations that occurred earlier during the March 31st game.