LOS ANGELES – A woman who saw part of a brutal attack on a San Francisco Giants fan outside Dodger Stadium took the witness stand Thursday and made the first eyewitness identification in court of two defendants charged in the case.
Mary Dolores Donely said she was at the 2011 opening day game with family members.
She recalled hearing profanity and a scuffle before she and her husband ran toward the trouble. She testified that she heard victim Bryan Stow's head hit the ground with a crack then saw a man she identified as defendant Louie Sanchez kick him in the head and attempt to punch him.
In court, she pointed to Sanchez as the assailant and identified co-defendant Marvin Norwood as a cohort who left the scene with him.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to mayhem and assault charges.
Her account came on the fifth day of a preliminary hearing to determine if the men will stand trial in the assault that stunned Los Angeles and led to added security at the stadium.
Stow, a paramedic from Northern California, suffered brain damage in the attack and is unable to use his arms or carry on a conversation.
Donely said her car was perhaps 10 feet from the site where Stow was being attacked.
"I heard something going on right next to us, the profanity. Being a fan and being around Dodger Stadium you see a lot of scuffles," she said. "You automatically turn toward it."
Donely said she followed her husband, fearful he would get into the fight, and saw "a person standing over the person who hit the ground and still trying to do more damage."
She described the horrifying sound of Stow's head hitting the ground and said she saw Sanchez kicking him and trying to punch 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 was clearly the man with Sanchez.
Following Donely's testimony, prosecutors played a tape of a jailhouse conversation between the men on the day they were arrested. However, it was muffled and indecipherable. The judge was given a transcript and he was to decide later on whether to release it.
Prosecutors also planned to call the sister of Sanchez as a witness. Police say she was the driver on the night of the incident. She was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact but not charged.