A Columbia man who was a “primary participant” in the brutal beating of a 62-year-old man last year will serve up to 12 years in prison.
Randy Howard, 22, pleaded guilty this week to felony counts of aggravated assault and conspiracy regarding the Sept. 3, 2017, attack in Columbia.
The victim sustained facial fractures and permanent injury to his right eye.
Lancaster County Judge Donald Totaro sentenced Howard to 6 to 12 years in prison, in accordance with an agreement arranged by Assistant District Attorney Ande Gonzalez.
Howard was among a group of people who were being loud on Walnut Street at 3 a.m. Howard and others in the group beat the 62-year-old man who came out of his home and asked the group to move along.
Columbia police identified as Howard as a “primary participant” in the beating. Howard is seen, in surveillance video, punching and kicking the man, knocking him to the ground. The victim continued to be beaten while on the ground.
In court, Judge Totaro called the incident “senseless” and said Howard could have just walked away.
Howard left a cellphone at the scene, which the victim’s wife recovered and turned over to police.
Shakim N. McIlwain, 23, who also was charged, is serving a 4-to-10-year sentence.
Howard was charged, but was on the lam until a tip after publicity of McIlwain’s conviction in March led police to Howard.
McIlwain and Howard also are ordered to pay $910 in restitution costs.
Columbia police Sgt. Samuel Stein filed charges.
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