LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge who has heard five days of testimony about the brutal attack on a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium has said he plans to wrap up the hearing after a final prosecution witness ends her testimony.
Superior Court Judge George Lomeli is expected to rule Friday on whether two men charged with mayhem, assault and battery on Giants fan Bryan Stow will be ordered to stand trial.
The defense rarely presents a case in a preliminary hearing and the lawyers for Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood have not indicated plans to call any witnesses.
That leaves one last witness to be cross-examined before prosecutors rest their case. Dorene Sanchez, the sister of one defendant and the girlfriend of another testified Thursday under a grant of immunity from prosecution. She told the story of the night of March 31, 2011 when Stow, a paramedic from Northern California, came to a baseball game and nearly lost his life.
While Sanchez never saw Stow and did not witness the beating, her testimony was critical because it placed both defendants in the midst of a fight after the opening night baseball game let out.
She testified that one of the men ran to her car from a fight with blood on his hand, while the other man spewed profanity.
Sanchez said neither man told her what had happened but she became suspicious when she later saw a TV report on the beating, which left Stow severely disabled.
Sanchez said that she waited at the car when the men went after some Giants fans after a verbal confrontation. She denied she had egged them on and said she became alarmed when they 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."
Sanchez and defendant Marvin Norwood have a child together. She is the sister of defendant Louie Sanchez.
"When I seen the blood, I said, 'Hey, what the hell?'" she testified. "He said, 'Don't worry about it.'"
"What about your brother?" Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman asked.
"I didn't ask him anything," Sanchez replied.
However, she said she recalled him turning to his 10-year-old son and saying, "'You better not say anything about this to your mother.'"
Both men have pleaded not guilty.
Until Thursday, no witness had positively identified the men as having been involved in the violence at the stadium. But in addition to Sanchez' account, Mary Dolores Donely identified both defendants as the men she saw near Stow's prone body.
She recalled hearing profanity and a scuffle before she and her husband ran toward the trouble. She testified that she heard Stow's head hit the pavement with a crack then saw a man she identified as Louie Sanchez kick him in the head and attempt to punch him.
In court, she pointed to Sanchez as the assailant and identified Norwood as a cohort who left the scene with him.
Defense attorneys questioned her at length, implying she identified the defendants from seeing their pictures on television. She said she recognized them from the incident.
Donely previously identified Sanchez at a lineup but had not been able to identify Norwood until she saw him in court Thursday. She said he clearly was the man with Sanchez.
During her testimony, Dorene Sanchez acknowledged that she had conversations by phone with Norwood in jail. Silverman played a surreptitiously recorded conversation in which Norwood was heard saying he had been in a fight but didn't know if it was the one involving Stow.
"I don't remember that guy," he said.
He also told Sanchez: "They're trying to make Louie look like a monster."
Dorene Sanchez had been arrested as an accessory after the fact but was not charged and she was given immunity from prosecution to testify.