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Witness in Bryan Stow beating may have died from peanut allergy

August 2, 2011 |  7:19 am


A key witness in the beating case of Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium may have died of a peanut allergy, though officials have not determined a positive cause of death.

Matthew Lee attended the Dodgers' home opener on March 31 with Stow and was cited in court papers filed Monday involving the two suspects charged in the beating.

According to law enforcement sources familiar with the case, Lee died Sunday after eating a salad that apparently contained nuts, which caused an allergic reaction. The sources said Lee had a peanut allergy.

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 Louie Sanchez, 29, and Marvin Norwood, 30, both of Rialto, made their first court appearance Monday, standing in a cage about 40 feet apart in front of a packed room. Both are charged with assault and mayhem in connection with the attack on Stow. Sanchez is also charged with misdemeanor assault and battery on two additional victims.

Arraignment and a hearing on a request by Sanchez to have his bail reduced 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 longtime 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