LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A second man who participated in severely injuring two men when they were bashed in the head with beer bottles received a 20-year prison sentence.
Keith Allen King, 23, of Lufkin, pleaded guilty in November to two counts of aggravated assault. District Judge Barry Bryan handed down the sentence Wednesday afternoon.
"It's very disturbing to think that that's somebody's idea of a good time, you know, to ride around pelting people with beer bottles," one of the victims said. "That's insane."
King and Kevin Phillip Ledet Jr., 31, were arrested in December 2010 and January 2011, respectively, following a months-long investigation into a pair of attacks in May 2010.
According to the report, around midnight on May 8, a 43-year-old man was walking in the 800 block of North Raguet Street when the suspects stopped their vehicle near him, asked the victim a question to bring him closer to their vehicle, and then used a beer bottle to strike the victim's face, causing a laceration below his eye.
The second victim, a 45-year-old man, was walking in the 900 block of Weaver Avenue when he was attacked in a manner similar to the first attack, causing massive facial injuries, including lacerations and bone fractures, and rendering the victim unconscious, according to the report. The pair also stole his cell phone, according to the report.
Witness-provided information and DNA evidence collected from the crime scenes assisted detectives in identifying the suspects as Ledet and King.
In the hearing on Wednesday, one of the victims, John Young, testified that he was walking to a convenience store to get cigarettes when King drove up to him and Ledet asked him if he knew how to get crack cocaine. Young said he told him no and that's when Ledet hit him with the bottle.
"It shook me up emotionally," Young said. "I don't walk at night. I don't leave my yard. I rarely leave my home any more. I've had some depression from it, but I've had some physical pain too."
Young, who works as a music minister at a church, said he bled from his sinuses for more than a month and suffered broken bones in the orbit of his eye. He said he now has trouble singing because of sinus problems.
"I think the Lord put me there and he protected me because it wasn't any worse than it was because [the other victim] needed a voice," Young said. "He needed somebody to be able to give a description."
The other victim's mother also took the stand and said her son was healthy and working before the attack but now, "he'll never be able to work, to take care of himself. His eye is damaged. There was a change in his personality."
"His eye was swollen shut ... His whole face was actually swollen," she said. "He was in the hospital for several months. He has several disabilities now. He walks with a cane."
Bryan sentenced Ledet to the same punishment in November.
"It kind of brings a little closure to it," Young said. "It lets me have a little faith in our justice system to see that two individuals that commit such a heinous crime in our community will actually face some years...The only thing I would say is ask the Lord to forgive you. I've already forgiven you. But, pray and I pray that the Lord would see them through their jail sentences."