A West Newton man accused of beating a homeless man and smashing his head into the sidewalk avoided jail time after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated assault and battery (one with a dangerous weapon) and witness intimidation charges at Suffolk Superior Court on Monday.
While prosecutors had requested that Craig Parsons, 23, serve three to five years in state prison, Judge Carol Ball sentenced Parsons to two and a half years in a house of correction. Ball then ordered that sentence suspended for a five-year probationary period.
According to the Suffolk County DA’s office, at around 2 a.m. on Jan. 26, Parsons and a friend encountered the 50-year-old victim, who was panhandling for change near 74 Allston Street. Police identified the victim as Michael Hudson, according to The Boston Globe.
After telling Hudson to go away, Parsons and another man began to punch and kick him, with Parsons also slamming his head into the sidewalk, according to the DA’s office. The beating only stopped when a female passerby jumped in, getting between Hudson and his attackers, who fled the scene. The woman held Hudson’s head so he could breathe while other witnesses called 911.
Hudson was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in critical condition. He survived, but suffers from after-effects which he described in an impact statement:
“It happened on a Sunday and I woke up in the hospital on Wednesday. When I go out, I’m scared of people. I don’t want to go out. I’m scared. I have memory loss. I can’t read. My balance is off. I am always tired. I keep missing doctor’s appointments because I forget what day it is.’’
Witnesses were unable to describe the suspects to police in any greater detail than that they were “very large young men,’’ according to the DA’s office. A three-month investigation led police to Parsons and Anthony Varrichione, 24, of Medway.
The Globe reported that the two men, who had known each other in high school, are former college football players: Parsons for Boston College and Varrichione for Marist College.
Varrichione will be in court on similar charges next month, according to the DA’s office.