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Bryan Stow beating: Sister of suspect to resume testimony

Testimony is set to resume Friday in the preliminary hearing of two men suspected of brutally beating San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

Dorene Sanchez, the fiancee of one suspect, Marvin Norwood, and sister of the other, Louie Sanchez, is expected to continue testifying. The 32-year-old Rialto woman was booked alongside the men as an accessory after the fact for driving them from the ballpark, but she began cooperating with prosecutors, who subsequently opted not to pursue charges against her.

In the courtroom Thursday, Sanchez revealed herself as crucial to the government's case despite having a clear desire to help the men prosecutors are trying to convict. The final witness in a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial, she offered a perspective no other witness could -- the view from inside the alleged getaway car.

She recalled her brother with panic in his voice, screaming for her to "get ... out of here!" and said she saw blood on the hand of Norwood.

"I said, 'Babe, what the hell?' And he said, 'Don't worry about it, babe,'" she recalled.

But in two hours of testimony, Sanchez appeared eager to aid the defense. She grinned at her brother and repeatedly flashed smiles at Norwood, with whom she has a child. She told the judge that she did not see the fight that left Stow with brain damage, and that the men never admitted involvement.

At a diner that night, her brother told their parents he had gotten into an altercation with some men who disrespected them, she said. Later, she testified, Norwood told her that they were "jumped" and had to fight back to protect themselves.

When she and Norwood watched a television report about the severity of Stow's injuries a few days after the beating, "we kind of looked at it in awe. Like wow, what happened? And we felt bad for the guy," she said.

In her retelling of the events leading up to the game, Sanchez presented a more benign portrait of her brother's and Norwood's conduct than other witnesses. She acknowledged that Louie Sanchez was loud, rude and profane during the game, even encouraging his 10-year-old son to throw peanuts at Giants supporters, but she denied that he and Norwood smoked pot in the parking lot afterward or assaulted a group of teenagers who passed by in Giants regalia.

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-- Harriet Ryan at Los Angeles County Superior Court

 
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