One of two men who have pleaded guilty to the Feb. 6 assault on Willie Navy in downtown Brainerd will serve the maximum sentence of eight years, seven months in prison for his crime.
Lucas Eastwood, who on Sept. 19 pleaded guilty to felony first-degree assault for his role in the attack, was sentenced Friday by Crow Wing County District Court Judge Dave Ten Eyck to 103 months in prison, with a minimum of two-thirds of that sentence as a potential of supervised probation.
Eastwood, sitting next to his attorney in his black polo shirt and jeans, showed no emotion to the sentence.
Eastwood, 28, Backus, and a second man, Travis Arnold Campbell, 29, Pequot Lakes, were charged with attacking Navy after the three left a downtown bar in the early morning hours of Feb. 6. Navy suffered numerous facial injuries in the attack, which police said was motivated in part because Navy is black.
Before the sentence, Bruce Alderman, chief deputy Crow Wing County attorney and the state’s attorney on the case, said Eastwood should receive 86 months for the assault. Alderman said the attack changed Navy’s life forever. Alderman said Navy’s injuries included significant face trauma and fractured bones around his eye for which he is still receiving treatment. The injuries continue to cause dizziness, light-headedness, double vision, scarring to his left cornea, fluid leakage, light sensitivity, headaches and the inability for both eyes to track together.
“His pain has continued since the operation and he still suffers,” said Alderman. “He’ll have to live with this for the rest of his life.”
Alderman also it is believed that Eastwood was the instigator of the attack and caused a majority of the injuries.
Navy, in his sports coat, tie and jeans, said going through the court proceedings brings back a lot of memories that he will have to live with for the rest of his life. He said he has a lot of problems when he gets up each morning, including headaches. He said sometimes the pain is so severe that he feels like Kirby Puckett of the Twins, who died after suffering from a hemorrhagic stroke.
“I feel like I didn’t do anything wrong to anyone,” said Navy. “I feel bad everyday. I want justice.”
Brainerd Public Defender C.J. Frey said since the first day he met Eastwood he knew that Eastwood felt remorse from the assault and he knows the emotional scars he helped cause. Frey said Eastwood understands he needs to change his life and he wants to help others.
Frey said that Eastwood is not a career criminal, but a young man who wants to complete his schooling. He also said that Eastwood was a father of a 7-year-old daughter.
“He hopes to be a better person,” said Frey.
Ten Eyck said everyone concerned put a lot of time and effort into trying to figure out a way of finding justice. Ten Eyck said he looked at the severity of the offense that took place and also looked at Eastwood’s character and his criminal background, with no prior felony convictions.
Ten Eyck said the plea agreement does not restrain him on how many months he could sentence Eastwood. The sentence range for the assault was between 73 to 103 months.
“I spent a good portion of last night thinking about this,” said Ten Eyck. “I’m imposing a maximum sentence because this was a severe assault that was unprovoked. He’ll (Navy) have to live with this on a daily basis, reliving the aftermath.”
Charges against Eastwood of felony third-degree assault, felony kidnapping to facilitate a felony or flight and gross misdemeanor fourth-degree assault motivated by bias were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
On Sept. 6, Campbell also pleaded guilty to felony first-degree assault.
Campbell’s plea, also part of a plea agreement, calls for a sentence of one year in jail with no time served, 10 years supervised probation upon release with restitution for Navy to be determined at a later date.
Sentencing for Campbell will be at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 17.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5851.