02:20 - Source: KABC
Judge calls 2 who beat fan 'cowards'

Story highlights

Dodgers say they are pleased that "culpable parties" take responsibility

Victim's family describe in court the catastrophic brain damage to Bryan Stow

Marvin Norwood gets four-year sentence but will get credit for time served

Louie Sanchez gets eight-year prison sentence

Los Angeles CNN  — 

Two California men were sentenced to prison Thursday for their roles in the severe beating of a San Francisco Giants fan after a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011.

Marvin Norwood, 33, and Louie Sanchez, 31, were sentenced to four years and eight years, respectively.

Members of victim Bryan Stow’s family appeared in court and made statements to the defendants and the judge during the sentencing.

Now brain-damaged as a result of the beating, Stow is disabled and unable to care for himself, said his father, David.

“The time you serve will be insignificant to what Bryan must endure. However, the years you spend in prison is what you two cretins deserve,” David Stow said to the two men.

Norwood, however, was scheduled to be released with credit for time served; he had been in jail in the case for more than two years. Federal authorities plan to take Norwood into custody, if released by local authorities, because Norwood faces a federal charge of a being a felon in possession of firearms, said spokesman Thom Mrozek with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles.

Earlier in the day, Norwood pleaded guilty to felony assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. Sanchez pleaded guilty to felony mayhem.

In exchange for their guilty pleas, other felony charges were dropped against the defendants. Both men are from Rialto, California.

The Dodgers issued a statement saying “we are pleased that the culpable parties have finally accepted responsibility for their actions and have been sentenced for their crimes.”

The baseball team declined to comment further because the Stow family is suing the organization in connection with the beating and the stadium’s security.

Prosecutors say the men attacked Stow, now 45, in the Dodgers’ stadium parking lot after the Opening Day game on March 31, 2011. The paramedic from Santa Cruz went into a coma as a result of the beating and, after returning to consciousness, is still struggling with a severe brain injury.

The men, who appeared in court in handcuffs, were harshly criticized by Judge George Lomeli.

“Mr. Stow will be forever trapped in the medical condition” that the men put him in, he said during the sentencing. “I have to comment on the attack, which was absolutely brutal.

“You blindsided Mr. Stow,” the judge said. “You are a complete coward.”

Sanchez smirked during the judge’s admonishment.

“You show no remorse whatsoever,” Lomeli added. “At the end of the day, it was only a game. … And you lost perspective.”

A statement from the district attorney’s office said Sanchez attacked Stow from behind in “an unprovoked attack” and witnesses testified that Norwood prevented Stow’s friends from helping him.

Caregivers and family members shower, dress and feed Stow, who takes 13 medications a day, said sister Bonnie Stow.

“No sentencing you receive will be long enough,” she told the defendants. “Your lack of regret makes me despise you even more.”

Another sister, Erin Collins, said the damage to her brother’s brain was catastrophic. A shunt now protrudes on the right side of his skull, and its left side is slightly sunken. His skull has deep scars.

“Because of your actions, Bryan can’t go to the bathroom by himself,” Collins said. “He has to wear adult diapers. I hate having to say that out loud, but it shows the severity of what you did.

“Being here, I hope to see one tiny bit of remorse in order to not think you are both that despicable, but I don’t. How can we begin to consider forgiveness when you aren’t even asking for it,” Collins said.

Collins also read aloud in court a statement written by Stow’s wife that was directed to the defendants:

“Our son Tyler’s first word was ball. His next word was daddy. And when they started playing catch, Bryan promised to play catch with him every day, and he did until you took that away from him. Our daughter, Tabitha, loved to ride bikes with her daddy and he did that every day he could, again, until you both took that away.

“Based on your actions, it is completely obvious that you have no respect for human life.”

CNN’s Paul Vercammen contributed to this report.