Jonathan Andrade, 21, and Roman Romero, 19, were sentenced on Monday to six years and three years in prison, respectively, for their involvement in the death of Richard Boden in late 2013. Next month, Carlos Medina, 45, will also be sentenced to six years in prison for his participation in Boden’s 2013 assault.
Boden, a 51-year old homeless man, was taken off life support one month after he was discovered beaten unconscious in Granny’s Field behind the Turnpike Shopping Center in September 2013. The motive for the assault remained unclear to both the defense and prosecution, who both acknowledged that the defendants and the victim were intoxicated the night the assault took place.
The three men originally pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree homicide in early 2014, but later accepted a deal to plead guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter. If they had been found guilty of the original charges, each could have faced up to 15 years to life in prison. As part of the agreement reached, Medina agreed to serve a mandatory sentence of 6 years, while Andrade and Romero would face 3-6 years for their role.
During the sentencing, prosecutor Anthony Davis asked for the maximum penalty under the plea deal to be given to Andrade and Romero. He argued that Judge Brian Hill shouldn’t spare the two the same penalty as Medina just because of their youth and shorter criminal histories. Davis also cited Andrade’s and Romero’s association with “juggalos” – a cult following of the Insane Clown Posse band – as possible evidence that both of them have a tendency towards violent behavior.
Before the sentence was handed down, the courtroom heard from the victim’s father, Richard Boden, Sr. He called for justice for his oldest son, stating that Romero and Andrade were equally responsible, and that “one of the most heartbreaking things a couple has to do is bury their son.”
Deedrea Edgar, Medina’s lawyer, apologized to Boden’s family on Medina’s, but defended her client against claims that he was the ringleader of the assault.
Andrade’s attorney, Sam Eaton, said that although Andrade does have a previous criminal record, his prior crimes were “not age inappropriate” and that he didn’t believe the sentence of six years was warranted given Andrade’s past circumstances.
Hill disagreed, and gave Andrade the six-year sentence. “We cannot lose sight of the fact that a human life was lost,” Hill said. (Andrade will appear in court again on April 16 to face additional concurrent sentencing for other pending misdemeanor cases against him.)
Romero, represented by Neil Levinson, was the only one of the three to personally apologize to Boden’s family for his actions. “I’d take it back if I could,” he said. Romero, who had just turned 18 at the time of beating, also thanked the court for taking into consideration that he is young and still has time to “change [his] ways.”
“Richard Boden was senselessly killed by three individuals at Granny’s Field and no amount of time in custody is going to bring him back and bring complete restoration and justice to his family,” Davis said. “The community will be safer because [these men] will be behind bars.”