LOS ANGELES – More than a year after a San Francisco Giants fan was brutally beaten at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium, a judge is hearing evidence to determine if two suspects should be tried for a crime that stunned both cities.
On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge George Lomeli watched a videotape of one defendant admitting involvement in the attack in a phone call to his mother.
When the preliminary hearing resumes Thursday, prosecutors plan to present details of the beating on opening day 2011 that left paramedic Bryan Stow severely disabled and still undergoing rehabilitation therapy.
The case is fraught with undercurrents for the city where Dodger Stadium has long been the central baseball landmark. The beating prompted public outrage and led to increased security at Dodgers games.
Lawyers for defendants Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood suggested in cross-examination they might have been involved in some other altercations at the stadium that day.
In the videotape played in court, Norwood told his mother that he was involved and expected to "go down" for the attack.
"Mom, you good?" Norwood says on the phone borrowed from one of the detectives. "You sure? Hey, I got arrested for that Dodger Stadium thing."
After a brief pause, he adds, "I was involved. I was. To a certain extent I was."
Moments later, he says, "I will very certainly go down for it."
In the recording, Norwood mentions the name of his co-defendant, Louie Sanchez. His last words on the conversation were, "I'm sorry."
The judge will determine if there is enough evidence for Norwood and Sanchez to stand trial on charges of mayhem, assault and battery, and inflicting great bodily injury. Both have pleaded not guilty.
The detective who interviewed Norwood on July 21, 2011, testified about the conversation.
Howard Jackson said Norwood told him at one point that there were a number of fights in the parking lot and that Norwood didn't think he was involved in the Stowe incident.
However, Jackson said Norwood told him he saw blood after Sanchez punched a Giants fan.
Two more witnesses who attended the March 31, 2011, game told of being bothered by Sanchez, who was throwing peanuts and spraying soda on a woman in the bleachers.
Pictures that witness Marc Lu took from his seat were projected on a large screen clearly showed Sanchez sitting next to Lu's group. At the end of the game, Sanchez sprayed a bottle of soda, said Lu, who was wearing a Giants T-shirt at the game.
"We were kind of staring at him in disbelief. He was facing us, kind of staring us down, looked like he was ready to fight." said Lu, who said Norwood was with Sanchez.
Prosecutors called five more witnesses who had seats near Sanchez and Norwood at the game. They told of the peanut-pelting and said Sanchez was drunk and dousing Giants fans with soda.
Some of the witnesses said they intervened to keep a fight from breaking out in the bleachers.
Kathryn Gillespie, who was hit with peanuts and drenched with soda, said she held her boyfriend back when a confrontation with Sanchez appeared imminent. She is named as a victim of battery in the complaint.
"We just wanted to leave the situation and get out of there safely," she said.
"And is that what you did?" asked Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman.
"Yes," said Gillespie. "Finally we just went in our own direction and never looked back."