A 15-year-old boy pleaded guilty and was sentenced this week for his role in the near fatal beating of Ray Widstrand, who was attacked this summer as he made his way through a crowd on St. Paul's East Side.

The boy, who hasn't been identified because of his age, will spend 18 to 24 months in a secure juvenile facility and will be under enhanced supervision as part of a plea deal, according to a Wednesday release from the Ramsey County attorney's office.

The teenager pleaded guilty to first-degree assault, a felony, and agreed to testify against other suspects in the attack.

On Aug. 4, police were alerted about 11:30 p.m. to a large fight in the area of Payne and Minnehaha Avenues. About 40 to 50 juveniles and young adults were fleeing the scene when an officer arrived. Widstrand, then 26, was on the ground bleeding from his nose and mouth. When hospitalized, he was found to have severe, potentially fatal brain swelling.

Widstrand is undergoing physical, speech and occupational therapy at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute.

If the boy violates a court order, he will lose the designation that places him under the court's supervision and he would have to serve the full adult sentence of more than 8½ years in prison.

Several other suspects were charged in the assault. The jury trial for Issac O. Maiden, 19, is scheduled for Nov. 4. Cindarion D. Butler, 16, was certified as an adult last week and has a hearing later this month. A judge's outcome is still pending in an adult certification hearing from earlier this month for another 15-year-old suspect. A third 15-year-old suspect has an adult certification hearing that was pushed to December.