The final gang member of five convicted in a brutal 2009 beating was given a 14-year prison term.
The last of five gang members who two years ago beat a Roseville man so badly he's now permanently brain-damaged was sentenced Friday to 14 years in prison.
Faron Monroe, 21, would not look at a video that prosecutors played showing the condition of 58-year-old Norman Burton, who now lives in a St. Paul nursing home because of severe injuries inflicted during the June 19, 2009, beating in Minneapolis.
As Senior Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Hilary Caligiuri explained that weights are necessary to hold down Burton's constantly thrashing legs, Monroe stared straight ahead and rubbed his hands together. Burton's family was not present.
Monroe pleaded guilty last month to first-degree assault. His 14-year sentence is twice that recommended by state guidelines. Dethoudone Phaengsy, 26; Angkhane Chanthapanya, 25; and Chia Yang, 25, also pleaded guilty and are serving 14 to 20 years in prison. Melissa Daniels, 28, received a stayed four-year sentence for aiding an offender after a first-degree assault committed for the benefit of a gang.
Authorities say Burton was visiting Daniels to inquire about buying drugs. One of the gang members who lived above Daniels in a duplex taunted Burton. When he said something back, the four members of the Asian Crips attacked him and beat him so badly he was in a coma for two months. He now requires 24-hour care.
Monroe's attorney, Trudell Guerue Jr., told Judge Daniel Mabley that his client felt genuine remorse. He was trying to get out of the gang life before the assault, and he can't bear to look at photos of Burton, Guerue said.
"I'm at a loss for words, but I do want to apologize," Monroe said to Mabley. "I wish the family was here so I could."
Monroe and his co-defendants also were ordered to pay more than $500,000 in restitution for Burton's medical bills. As Monroe was led out of the courtroom, he briefly turned toward a few of his family members and waved goodbye.