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19-year-old gets jail in beating of Army sergeant outside MacDill

Jared Richardson cries as he is put into handcuffs in the courtroom of Judge Ronald Ficarrotta on Monday. The judge sentenced him to six months in jail.

EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

Jared Richardson cries as he is put into handcuffs in the courtroom of Judge Ronald Ficarrotta on Monday. The judge sentenced him to six months in jail.

TAMPA — The fourth and final man accused of beating an Army sergeant last year was sentenced Monday.

Jared Richardson, 19, got off with the lightest punishment of them all: six months in the county jail.

It was an agreed-upon sentence that withheld adjudication on his two felony charges: robbery and aggravated battery with great bodily harm. That means Richardson will not have a felony criminal record, Circuit Judge Ronald Ficarrotta explained.

"That's a huge break for you," Ficarrotta said.

Richardson and three other men approached an Army sergeant at 3:30 a.m. on May 13, 2012, as he walked down a street near MacDill Air Force Base. After asking for a dollar, the men punched and kicked Sgt. Johnny Aparicio for 40 seconds.

Aparicio was 24 at the time of the robbery and had just arrived three weeks earlier to his post at MacDill.

Prosecutors say Aparicio's car broke down on Iowa Avenue that morning, and he was walking home when the men attacked him. They took his cellphone, $60 and his Georgia driver's license. They knocked out a front tooth and broke his nose.

The attack was caught on a neighbor's home surveillance camera and triggered an outpouring of national sympathy.

Two of the men pleaded guilty in February to aggravated battery with great bodily harm. Ficarrotta sentenced Brandon Miller, 19, to five years in state prison. Lerome Howard, 19, received three years.

In March, a third man, Geroshe Lewis, 19, was sentenced to two-and-a-half months in prison.

On Monday, all that remained was Richardson. He walked into the courthouse in a wine-colored dress shirt and a vest, and he walked out in handcuffs.

Richardson will have to complete five years of probation, do 50 community service hours, submit to random drug tests and pay toward $500 in restitution to Aparicio.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3433.

19-year-old gets jail in beating of Army sergeant outside MacDill 05/20/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 12:02am]
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