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Four of five inmates charged in beating sentenced

July 20, 2010|By DON AINES

HAGERSTOWN -- Five Maryland Correctional Institution inmates charged with beating another inmate with socks loaded with locks and a can of tomato sauce appeared in Washington County Circuit Court Tuesday, with four entering plea agreements and three of them having more years added to their current sentences.

The five, each of whom had an interpreter, were charged in an Oct. 31, 2009, attack on Robert Davis, who was beaten with socks containing combination locks and one that contained the can of sauce, the application for statement of charges said. Though corrections officers also found two homemade knives discarded along with the weighted socks, Davis sustained superficial injuries.

One prisoner, Henrique Izaguirre, had MS-13, the name of a Central American gang, tattooed across his forehead, but Assistant State's Attorney Christopher McCormack said gang affiliation might not have been a factor in the assault.

"They all may be in a gang, but I don't think it had anything to do with the victim being in another gang," McCormack said.

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The state had filed a motion to consolidate the five cases for trial, but four defendants entered pleas on Tuesday. Another, Bernardo Canales, 49, did not because his attorney was not present.

Izaguirre, 20, a native of Honduras serving a 30-year sentence for first-degree murder, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to another five years in prison. Izaguirre punched Davis, but was also seen with a homemade knife during the assault, the application for statement of charges said.

"He is young, but his record is considerable," Judge W. Kennedy Boone III said, noting a previous conviction for assault while incarcerated in Prince George's County.

Jamie Alvarado, 22, who said his country of origin is El Salvador, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to four more years in prison. He is serving 12 1/2 years for second-degree murder, Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson told Boone.

Ibanez Barrentos, 23, originally from Guatemala, entered an Alford Plea to second-degree assault. An Alford Plea means the defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the state has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

Barrentos' attorney, Amy Rounceville, said her client has "no gang affiliation" and went to his cell during the fight. He is serving four years for vehicular manslaughter for the death of his girlfriend in an alcohol-related accident, she said.

Boone gave Barrentos an additional three years in prison.

David Santos, 22, who said he was from Honduras, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, but his sentence was deferred for 60 days. He is serving a 25-year sentence for first-degree assault, Wilson said.

In exchange for the pleas, other charges against Izaguirre, Alvarado, Barrentos and Santos were dismissed.

Izaguirre and Alvarado also had been charged with first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit second-degree assault, possession of a weapon while in confinement, carrying a weapon with intent to injure and carrying a concealed dangerous weapon.

Santos and Barrentos also had been charged with possession of a weapon while in confinement and carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure.

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