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Three sentenced for brutal attacks in bar.

Byline: Gary V. Murray

WORCESTER - Two men were sentenced to state prison, and a third was sent to the county jail yesterday, for their roles in what a judge described as a "particularly brutal attack" on two victims last year in a Fitchburg bar.

Marco Costa, 39, of 110 Daniel St., Fitchburg, was sentenced to 8 to 10 years' imprisonment after being found guilty May 25 of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a bar stool.

Miguel A. Gutierrez, 22, of 1132 Main St., Fitchburg, was sentenced to 6 to 8 years in state prison with 2 years of probation to follow on charges of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (pool stick) and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, (pool stick).

Mr. Costa's 35-year-old brother, Virgilio Costa, of 15 Prospect St., Leominster, was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in the House of Correction with 6 months to be served after he was convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot). Judge Janet Kenton-Walker, who found all three men guilty after a jury-waived trial May 25, suspended the balance of the sentence for 2 years with probation.

Assistant District Attorney Michael D. McHugh said during an earlier hearing in the case that 19-year-old Sean Paton was beaten unconscious with a pool cue about 1:30 a.m. June 1, 2010, at K.C.'s Bottoms Up bar at 1098 Main St., Fitchburg.

Mr. McHugh said Mr. Gutierrez struck Mr. Paton in the face with a pool cue, then knocked him unconscious to the floor with repeated blows to the head and torso. Virgilio Costa kicked Mr. Paton when he was down, according to the prosecutor.

When David Sullivan, Mr. Paton's uncle, tried to intervene, Marco Costa twice hit him over the head with a bar stool, rendering him unconscious, according to Mr. McHugh. He said Mr. Costa continued to hit Mr. Sullivan with the stool after he fell to the floor, then Mr. Costa raised his arms "triumphantly."

Both victims suffered serious injuries, according to Mr. McHugh. He said Mr. Sullivan suffered a broken jaw, broken orbital bone in his face and broken teeth.

Mr. McHugh recommended that Marco Costa and Mr. Gutierrez be sentenced to 13 to 15 years in state prison and that Virgilio Costa be sentenced to 5 to 7 years in prison.

Marco Costa's lawyer, Kristen J. Patria, and Mr. Gutierrez's lawyer, Kevin C. Larson, recommended that their clients each be sentenced to 3 to 5 years. Virgilio Costa's lawyer, Leonard J. Staples, asked that his client be placed on probation for five years.

"You know, the problem with this case is that it was completely unnecessary," Judge Kenton-Walker said of the assaults, which were captured on a surveillance videotape in the bar. In a matter of less than 3-1/2 minutes, five lives were changed for the worse, the judge said before imposing sentence.

Marco Costa, who was given credit for 322 days spent in custody in lieu of bail, was acquitted on charges of armed assault with intent to murder, an additional count of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and mayhem.

Mr. Gutierrez, who was given credit for 329 days in custody, was acquitted on charges of armed assault with intent to murder, one count of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and mayhem.

Virgilio Costa, who received 21 days' credit, was acquitted on charges of armed assault with intent to murder, two counts each of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and mayhem.

As conditions of probation, he and Mr. Gutierrez were ordered to remain drug- and alcohol-free, to have no contact with the victims and to pay restitution for the victims' unpaid medical bills in an amount to be determined at an Aug. 16 hearing.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jun 16, 2011
Words:666
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