When Elijah Stinson was just 17 years old, in February 2008, he made the terrible decision of walking up behind Jeffrey Cortinez with an aluminum bat and a bone to pick — then brought that sucker down (the bat, not the bone) right on top of the 18-year-old's head.

If a goose egg had been all that resulted, Stinson might not be where he is today. But the bat hit Cortinez in a way that caused “severe brain injuries from which he is still trying to recuperate with the help of rehabilitation and around-the-clock nursing care,” according to Pasadena Police Sergeant Jim Valencia [San Gabriel Valley Tribune].

So, this morning, a Pasadena Superior Court judge handed the now 20-year-old Stinson…

… a whopping seven years for “attempted murder without premeditation” and five more for “assault with a deadly weapon likely to cause great bodily injury.”

Though Stinson was only 17 at the time, he's been tried as an adult since the beginning — and, though he originally pled “not guilty,” today's sentence was the result of a “guilty” plea deal. Stinson's girlfriend at the time, Jeniell Galvan-Franco, already served her three years (for driving the getaway car) and is currently out on parole.

Of course, outlook is even less good for Cortinez, who'll struggle with his injuries for life. Flashback to Garfield Park in South Pasadena at about 11 p.m., courtesy of the Tribune:

Stinson, then 17 years old, walked up behind then-18-year-old South Pasadena High School student Jeffrey Cortinez on Feb. 1, 2008, and struck him in the head with a baseball bat, investigators said. …

Stinson was believed to have held a grudge against Cortinez for several weeks, ever since Cortinez had become part of a fight involving one of Stinson's friends.

Sergeant Valencia described today's sentencing as “emotional,” adding that “(Cortinez's mother) and Jeffrey Cortinez's younger brohather spoke to the court and to Stinson directly about the physical, emotional and financial toll the unprovoked attack has taken on Jeffrey Cortinez and his family.”

Two Facebook groups in support of the victim — “Prayers for Jeff Cortinez” and “THE *JEFFREY CORTINEZ* GROUP” — were originally used as fundraising hubs, but went quiet around fall of last year.


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