September 15, 2006


Jury convicts T-ball coach of beaning (Moustafa Ayad, September 15, 2006, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Fayette County jury yesterday convicted a Uniontown youth league baseball coach of hiring an 8-year-old to injure a teammate last summer.

After almost seven hours of deliberation, and twice asking a judge to clarify the charges, the jury convicted Mark R. Downs Jr., 29, of Dunbar, of criminal conspiracy to commit simple assault and corruption of minors for promising $25 to one of his best players if he hurled a ball at Harry Bowers Jr., 11, an autistic and mildly retarded teammate. [...]

Most of the evidence in the case hinged on the testimony of Keith Reese Jr., now 9, and his father, Keith Reese Sr., who said Mr. Downs asked Keith to hit Harry with a baseball as they warmed up before a playoff game in June 2005.

The father and son testified that Mr. Downs told Keith he would give him $25 if he hit Harry. The younger Keith testified that after he hit Harry, his coach asked him to go out there and "hit him harder."

Mr. Reese testified that Mr. Downs confessed after the playoff game that he done something "pretty ignorant."

During warmups before the game, Keith hit Harry twice with a baseball -- the first bounced and hit him in the groin, and the second ricocheted off the left side of his face, tearing his earlobe.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2006 4:56 PM

Steinbrenner will have Keith Jr., pitching to David Ortiz by 2008 at the latest.

Posted by: John at September 16, 2006 12:18 AM

It is for morons like Downs that we need to keep the death penalty.

How can one be optimistic about the future when idiots like these are permitted to live among us?

Geez OJ, were are you digging this stuff up?

Posted by: Bruno at September 16, 2006 1:08 AM