A judge ruled Monday that a Southeast Missouri State University student connected to a December 2009 beating will not serve time in jail.
Circuit Court Judge Benjamin F. Lewis ordered Antonio Garritano, 20, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges Feb. 28, complete two years of supervised probation. With his ruling, Lewis suspended the imposition of a prison sentence.
Garritano, originally charged with felony burglary, admitted going with four other students Dec. 13, 2009, to a home on Dunklin Street, where Blake Carlton, a fellow student, was assaulted. Prosecutors reduced the charge in exchange for Garritano's guilty plea.
In addition to recommending probation, Cape Girardeau County assistant prosecuting attorney Angel Woodruff requested Garritano pay restitution -- any medical expenses not covered by insurance. She couldn't give Lewis an amount.
Garritano's attorney, Stephen Wilson, said the remaining medical bills total $115 and that the victim has told his client he didn't want Garritano to pay the restitution.
Lewis also ordered Garritano to complete an aggravated offender program and 40 hours of community service. Completion of the programs and the community service could possibly trigger an early release from probation, Lewis said.
He said Garritano's actions weren't uncommon, considering his situation -- an unsupervised college student seeking to "settle a score" with other students.
"The essence of your mistake is participating and going along with these other guys," Lewis said. "If you make that kind of mistake again, you're going to pay the consequences."
After the December incident, Garritano served 60 days in the Cape Girardeau County Jail on a probation violation. His original conviction was for distributing prescription medication.
100 Court St., Jackson, MO