Eugene R. Guerra IV, 24, of Olean, was sentenced Monday to four years in prison for his part in the drunken beating of a stranger on a North Tonawanda street corner Nov. 30.
The 57-year-old victim was seriously brain-damaged and is likely to spend the rest of his life in a nursing home, a family member told Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon.
"His life is over. He may as well be dead," Sheldon told Guerra, who pleaded guilty to second-degree assault. Awaiting sentencing is a co-defendant, Devin J. Gamble, 20, of North Tonawanda.
Defense attorney Richard R. Shaw said Guerra punched the victim once and Gamble kicked him in the head "a couple of times."
Assistant District Attorney Mary-Jean Bowman said if the man dies, homicide charges will be filed.