gavel.jpgPolice in Los Angeles confirmed this afternoon that three new suspects have been arrested in connection with the March beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow and that the man originally suspected has been exonerated.

Louie Sanchez, 29, Marvin Norwood, 30, and Doreen Sanchez, 31, were arrested as a result of the ongoing investigation in which detectives have examined more than 850 clues and interviewed some 600 people, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said to cameras this afternoon.

“We have tirelessly pursued the truth wherever it led us,” he said.

Just minutes before the news conference, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office brought charges against the two men, Beck said.

The district attorney’s office confirmed that Norwood and Louie Sanchez, who both live in San Bernadino County, were charged with one count each of mayhem and assault in the March 31 attack outside of Los Angeles’ Dodgers Stadium.

Today’s announcement represented a major change in the case, as police had originally believed Giovanni Ramirez, 31, of Los Angeles, was a prime suspect in the case.

“Giovanni Ramirez is no longer a suspect in this case,” Beck said. Ramirez was arrested on May 22 on suspicion of violating parole after police found a gun in a laundry hamper at his home.

“In policing, it is just as important to exonerate the innocent as it is to implicate the guilty,” Beck said.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa echoed Beck’s statement of the department’s commitment to the Stow case. “The best of the best at the LAPD have been tasked in working on this case,” Villaraigosa said at the news conference.

“The Los Angeles Police Department never gave up on this case,” District Attorney Steve Cooley said in a prepared statement released today.

Louie Sanchez was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery stemming from a separate incident on March 31, according to the district attorney’s office.

The two men are expected to appear for arraignment Monday in Department 30 at Los Angeles Superior Court. They were arrested Thursday at their Rialto homes by Los Angeles police and are being held on $500,000 bail each.

If convicted, Louie Sanchez faces a possible maximum state prison term of nine years and Norwood faces a maximum of eight years. Doreen Sanchez was not charged.

Police were not releasing any more information today in the ongoing investigation, although further details could be released early next week, Beck said.

“Our goal is to find justice for Bryan Stow,” he said.

While the police have been working for months to find those responsible, Stow, 42, has been fighting to recover. For months, he remained in a medically induced coma after the attack and remained in critical condition until last month, when doctors upgraded Stow’s condition to serious.

But it was only this morning that his family announced that Stow was “very alert” and responsive.

“The nurse practitioner told us he had both eyes open, (and) his right hand was either trying to give a thumbs up or hold up two fingers,” his family wrote on a website it created to provide update’s on the Santa Clara county paramedic’s recovery.

Stow, a father of two, was apparently opening and closing his eyes on command and was able to mouth “Stow” when he was asked to give his last name, according to his family, who said it remains cautiously optimistic of his progress.

Stow has been receiving treatment at San Francisco General Hospital since transferring from a Los Angeles hospital in May.

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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