18-year-old gets probation in beating
April 9, 2013
An 18-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man who admitted beating up a teenager without provocation was sentenced Monday to five years probation, including nine months in jail.
District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Bhrandon DePaz to four years in Nevada State Prison, suspended, and ordered him to pay $12,961.13 restitution to the victim for medical bills.
The victim's parents, who attended the sentencing, agreed with their son's request that DePaz not be sent to prison.
He pleaded guilty to battery by a probationer, a felony punishable by up to six years in prison.
DePaz was arrested after the victim showed up at Sharkey's in Gardnerville on Dec. 15 with extensive injuries.
According to reports, the victim went to the defendant's girlfriend's home, and the defendant unexpectedly came over. DePaz reportedly found the victim in the girlfriend's bedroom, with his shoes off. DePaz became very angry, lost control and the beating occurred. The teenager said that DePaz took his cell phone, $7, grabbed his shoes, socks and a jacket after injuring him, and left.
The cell phone was recovered.
The victim's father testified that because of DePaz's age, he hoped the defendant would get help, The victim did not attend the sentencing.
DePaz has served 115 days in Douglas County Jail.
"The violence that happened to my son, as a father that's hard to come to terms with," the victim's father said in court Monday.
"My son, his heart was to forgive him and get this behind him," the man said.
He said his son, who is now 17, suffered no permanent injuries.
"I'm just thankful it didn't escalate to another level," the victim's mother said.
She said it was her wish that DePaz learn from his mistakes "so this doesn't happen to anyone else."
DePaz's attorney, Jamie Henry, said her client intended to live with his parents when he is released from jail, and "apply for every job he can get."
She said he would have few expenses and could use his salary to make restitution.
"I sincerely apologize," DePaz said. "I know I committed the offense, I will take responsibility."
Gibbons ordered him to undergo substance abuse and mental health treatment and abstain from drugs, alcohol and other intoxicants. After he is released from jail, he is to pay $250 a month restitution.
If he doesn't find a job, DePaz is to perform 40 hours a week community service to a maximum of 1,000 hours.
Gibbons explained that he was exercising "restorative justice" in the sentencing. Since DePaz said he had no job or skills, Gibbons said he could learn a skill performing community service until he found a job.
He may not have contact with the victim or his family, or any gang members.
DePaz may not have gang clothing, symbols or indicia of gang affiliation, specifically the Eastwood Tokers.
"You're 18, you have a chance to turn your life around," Gibbons said.