NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A judge has sentenced a Queens man to a year in jail for putting a woman into a coma after punching her in a fight over a parking space last year.
Oscar Fuller was given the maximum sentence Friday. He was convicted in May of misdemeanor third degree assault after a violent altercation between himself and then 25-year-old Lana Rosas. He was acquitted of a more serious felony charge.
Rosas was standing in the spot on East 14 Street, physically saving the space for her boyfriend when Fuller stepped out of his car to speak with her.
Video showed in court showed Rosas approached Fuller first, but he struck back forcefully, punching her in the face.
Prosecutors said Fuller hit Rosas out of rage and knocked her unconscious. She fell to the ground hitting the cement and suffered major head trauma. She spent a week in a coma.
Fuller fled the scene but witnesses were able to write down his license plate number, prosecutors said, and he was arrested in March.
Rosas’ mother said her daughter had to be taught the basics all over again, like eating and talking.
“Lana was so hopeful until she met Oscar Fuller and his fists,” Rosas’ mother Angie Harrison said in her victim impact statement to the court. “Never forget my daughter and our family have received a life sentence.”
Moments before he was sentenced, Fuller addressed Rosas and her family.
“I am truly sorry about the situation that occurred that day,” he said. “I am truly sorry things escalated. If we could both go back and change things, I’m sure I would.”
But Rosas’ family didn’t buy the carefully worded apology and neither did the judge, who said she doesn’t believe Fuller accepts responsibility for Rosas’ injuries as being entirely his fault.
“You know there’s a difference between saying ‘I’m sorry something happened and I regret it happening’ and ‘I intended something to happen’ and that’s really what the defense was about in this case,” said defense attorney Tom Kenniff.
Rosas’ mother said while the sentence was nowhere near what she thinks Fuller deserves, she believes it will give her daughter some measure of comfort and closure.
Rosas has a shunt in her skull and receives therapy twice a week.
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