Witness In Stow Beating Dies, New Court Documents Detail Attack
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A key prosecution witness in the vicious attack on San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow died unexpectedly this weekend.
Matthew Lee reportedly died from an allergic reaction after he ate a salad containing nuts.
Another stunning development in the case was the release of new court documents Monday that detail the attack.
The documents describe how the two defendants, Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez, took turns beating Stow, allegedly after he was already unconscious.
A bail reduction hearing for Sanchez was scheduled to be held Monday, but once his attorney was given the documentation, he asked for a postponement.
The assault on Stow, according to the papers, was actually a two-part incident. Sanchez allegedly punched Stow and Lee before punching a third person. He then went on to punch Stow again, the documents state.
“Sanchez ran up behind Stow and punched him in the side of the head. Stow’s friends, who are paramedics, described that Stow immediately lost consciousness, and fell sideways to the ground without breaking his fall,” the documents said. “Sanchez then kicked the unconscious Stow several times in the head. Defendant Norwood also approached Stow and kicked him. Stow’s friends ran to his defense and shielded Stow with their bodies. Defendant Norwood stood over Stow’s prone body and said, ‘Who else wants to fight?’”
Lee was considered to be a key witness in the case. The 26-year-old paramedic was a good friend of Stow, but on Sunday night, he suffered an allergic reaction to a salad and died the following morning.
“It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances, but we don’t believe that this is going to affect the prosecution of the case,” LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said.
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The district attorney’s office says the case will still go forward.
“When someone dies, there are ways under the law to admit their statements that were made when they were living, legal expert Steve Meister says.
Police say Lee was an important witness in the case, but not the lynchpin.
In papers filed Monday, the district attorney says Sanchez told his 10-year-old son not to tell anyone what happened that day. The papers also state that while in a jail cell awaiting a lineup, Sanchez told Norwood not to say anything to anyone.
Bail remains at $500,000 each for Sanchez and Norwood.