By John Luciew | firstname.lastname@example.org
The target of the brutal beating was once president of a Pa. the chapter of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, but had switched to lead the Sutars Soldiers, a rival club started by former Pagans.
Prosecutors in Washington County, Pa., argued this was the motive in a brutal beating of Troy Harris, 54, who was attacked at the Charleroi Slovak Club in April 2019.
Two Pagans members — Matthew Vasquez, 31, of Monessen, and Joseph Olinsky III, 46, of McKeesport — were found guilty in February of aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and simple assault in the case.
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Now, the pair of Pagans were back in court this week to learn their prison fate.
Surely, they didn’t like what they heard from Washington County Common Pleas Judge John DiSalle.
That’s because the judge sentenced both to 10 to 20 years for aggravated assault and another 10 to 20 years for conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, as the MonValley Independent reported, adding:
The sentences will run consecutively, effectively giving both men a whopping 20 to 40 years in prison.
The sentence is even more harsh considering that Vasquez rejected a plea deal that carried a sentence of seven to 14 years and Olinsky turned down a plea deal that would have meant a sentence of three and a half to seven years. Both deals were offered last fall, the MonValley Independent reported.
Needless to say, Washington County Deputy Assistant District Attorney Jason Walsh told the newspaper, “The commonwealth is very happy with the sentence.”
In handing down the Pagans’ fate, Judge DiSalle went outside the guidelines set for sentencing on aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault charges, as Walsh requested. This, according to the newspaper report.
Victim Troy Harris suffered severe head trauma and cognitive problems due to the beating.
However, the Washington County jury rejected the more severe charges of attempting and conspiring to commit homicide against Vasquez and Olinsky, as the Observer-Reporter newspaper wrote of the split-verdict trial.
At last report, their lawyers were vowing to appeal.
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