Two brothers who admitted involvement in the fatal beating of a 50-year-old homeless man in a Santee riverbed were each sentenced Friday to lengthy prison terms.
Austin Mostrong, 22, pleaded guilty in October to second-degree murder in the death of George Lowery and was sentenced to 20 years to life behind bars.
Preston Mostrong, 21, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and mayhem, including an allegation that he caused Lowery to go into a coma, and was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Both brothers were on probation at the time of the killing.
A third person, Hailey Suder, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and had the charge reduced to a misdemeanor.
Deputy District Attorney George Modlin said the Mostrong brothers made statements that placed them at the crime scene on April 24, 2016. Preston Mostrong admitted striking Lowery and throwing him into the weeds, the prosecutor said.
Lowery’s wife, who lived with him in a makeshift encampment in the riverbed, found him face-down, hogtied and unconscious under a piece of plywood in the area of Chubb Lane and North Magnolia Avenue, suffering from severe trauma to his upper body. Lowery, who had also been robbed, was pronounced dead four days later.
Defense attorneys said that four days before the fatal attack, the elder Mostrong’s paintball or pellet gun was taken in a confrontation near the homeless camp.
The night before Lowery was attacked, Austin Mostrong said he was going to go get his guns back, Modlin said.
—City News Service