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Mother says jury's verdict devastated victim's family

She says she was hoping for a 10-year sentence, twice the expected recovery time of her son, who was beaten with a baseball bat.

The mother of a 20-year-old Tampa man badly injured by a teen with a baseball bat says she is deeply disappointed in the outcome of the teen's trial.

Sean Grieco, 18, faced life in prison on charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery stemming from a fight at a Northdale Chick-fil-A restaurant on Jan. 23.

In a dispute that started over stares exchanged by two groups of teens, Grieco smashed Christopher Phillips in the head with an aluminum bat, causing severe head injuries and leaving Phillips in a coma for days. Grieco also shattered the elbow of Phillips' friend, Edgar York, 19.

His trial this week included defense testimony that Grieco acted in self-defense. Thursday, a jury found Grieco guilty of one count of misdemeanor battery against Phillips.

A judge then sentenced Grieco, who had no criminal record, to a year of probation plus community service at a facility for people with head injuries.

After the verdict, Phillips' mother, Valarie Phillips Sconyers, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Grieco's mother outside the courthouse, warning parents to watch their children.

She said there had been enough suffering by both families, and was pleased the sentence included counseling.

But Friday, Sconyers said she and her family were "devastated" by the jury's decision. She said doctors have indicated that her son, who continues to suffer seizures, memory loss and pain, won't know for five years about the extent of the damage to his brain. She said she was hoping Grieco would get twice that amount of time, 10 years, in prison.

"We have cried all night," Sconyers said Friday.

Phillips' family is expected to file a lawsuit related to the fight.

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