A 20-year-old Missoula man accused of brutally beating and hogtying a gay man last May was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in the Montana State Prison and another 10 years of probation.
Christopher L. Newrider pleaded guilty last month to charges of felony assault and kidnapping Stevenpaul Richey, 51, who said his assailants uttered anti-gay epithets during the beating inside his downtown apartment. The attack was unprovoked, said Richey, who spent nine days in the hospital with a collapsed lung and numerous other injuries following the assault.
A co-defendant in the case, Michael D. Lemay, 21, has been sentenced to 20 years' custody in the state corrections department, with 15 years suspended.
Richey met his attackers downtown at the Iron Horse in the late-night hours of May 7, 2007. Around 1 a.m., the men headed to Richey's nearby apartment to drink beer and play music.
Once inside, Newrider bound Richey's hands and ankles together with rope, then punched and kicked the man, shattering bones in his face, breaking two ribs and puncturing a lung. Staff at St. Patrick Hospital told police Richey would have died if a friend hadn't found him two hours after the assault occurred, according to court records.
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Richey said the men took his cell phone and a small amount of cash from his home, but left other valuable items, including musical instruments and electronic equipment.
Newrider faced a maximum penalty of life in prison, but prosecutors recommended the lesser sentence in exchange for his guilty plea.
Newrider was also required to pay nearly $41,500 in restitution, including $10,000 to Richey directly. The rest of the money will go to Missoula County's crime victim compensation fund and to health-care providers who wrote off some of Richey's medical expenses.
In 2006, Newrider was convicted of burglary in Cascade County. Prior to the assault, he had escaped from a prerelease center and had a warrant out for his arrest.