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Bryan Stow beating suspects face federal weapons charges

By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES — Two men charged in state court in connection with the brutal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow will each face federal charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, authorities said Tuesday.

Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez were arrested last year and charged with felony assault and mayhem in the attack on Stow in one of the parking lots at Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2011.

The U.S. attorney’s office added the weapons charges in a 14-page indictment. If convicted of the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, each man faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

Stow, 43, and the father of two, was wearing a Giants jersey when he was attacked after the Dodgers’ opening-day victory over the Giants.

Norwood and Sanchez are accused of repeatedly kicking and punching Stow while he was on the ground, causing severe head trauma that left the Northern California paramedic with brain damage. This past March, Stow was transferred from a hospital to a therapy facility. His family has filed a lawsuit and is seeking $50 million in damages from the Dodgers.

The beating drew national attention and put pressure on the Los Angeles Police Department, city officials and the Dodgers to calm fears of violence among fans.

Tuesday’s charges come one day after four men were arrested on suspicion of assault in connection with a fight that broke out as cars were jockeying to exit Dodger Stadium after Sunday’s game. The victim, who was repeatedly hit in front of his pregnant girlfriend, was treated at a local hospital and released.

The Stow case took on added notoriety when police initially arrested parolee Giovanni Ramirez for the crime but could not link him to the beating. The case was reassigned to the Robbery-Homicide Division; witnesses were re-interviewed and security video was re-examined, which led to the arrests of Norwood and Sanchez.

The federal charges stemmed from searches executed at the defendants’ residences before their arrests last year.

The weapons recovered from Norwood’s Rialto home included a Bushmaster .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle with scope; a Marlin .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle; a Mossberg 12-gauge semiautomatic shotgun; a Llama model Minimax .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol; and a Smith & Wesson .357-caliber revolver, the indictment alleges. Authorities reportedly recovered scores of rounds of ammunition.

Norwood told police that the guns were not his and that he had allowed Sanchez to store them at his residence for about a year. Federal authorities, however, said they determined that the weapons were in the possession of and available to both defendants.

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