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Key witness in Bryan Stow beating dies unexpectedly

August 1, 2011 |  3:16 pm


A key witness in the beating case of Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium died suddenly, apparently of an allergic food reaction.

According to law enforcement sources familiar with the case, Matthew Lee died Sunday after eating a salad that apparently contained nuts, which caused the allergic reaction. The coroner has not determined a cause of death, however.

Stow and Lee went to the Dodgers' home opener together with a group of friends.

It's unclear how this will affect the case against Stow's alleged attackers, but the sources said Lee was an important witness.

However, officials have said they have physical evidence in addition to the evidence provided by eyewitnesses to the beating.

Los Angeles police detectives said Monday they were trying to find additional Giants fans from the Bay Area who were assaulted by the suspects.

The request came as one of the suspects, Louie Sanchez, sought to have his bail reduced. A hearing on that request was postponed until Aug. 10.

Sanchez, 29, and Marvin Norwood, 30, both of Rialto, have been charged with assault and mayhem in connection with the Stow beating on opening day. Sanchez has also been charged with misdemeanor assault and battery on two additional victims.

The two made their first court appearance Monday, standing in a cage about 40 feet apart in front of a packed room. Their arraignments were postponed until Aug. 10.
Police sources said evidence against the men included cellphone records and photos that placed them at the game.

They also were implicated by Dorene Sanchez, Norwood's long-term partner and Louie Sanchez's sister, the sources said.

Dorene Sanchez was arrested as an accessory to the crime but has not been charged. She had appeared before a grand jury.

Gilbert Quinones, Louis Sanchez's attorney, has acknowledged that his client was at the game but denied he was involved in the attack on Stow, a paramedic who was dressed in a San Francisco Giants shirt when he was brutally beaten. Stow remains hospitalized in San Francisco with brain damage.


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-- Andrew Blankstein (Twitter: @anblanx)

Photo: Bryan Stow and children. Credit: Stow family