By Miriam Raftery
Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News
January 12, 2018 (Santee) – Santee brothers Austin and Preston Mostrong were sentenced to spend decades in prison for beating George Lowery, 50, a homeless man to death in April,2016 at a Santee encampment.
Austin Mostrong, 22, pled guilty to second-degree murder of Lowery as well as assaulting another victim. Preston Mostrong, 21, pled guilty to manslaughter, mayhem, and causing great body injury. Austin was sentenced to 20 years in prison and Mostrong received a sentence of 20 years to life.
Hailey Suder, who authorities said hid in the truck during the attack and gave false testimony, was sentenced to one day in jail with credit for time already served behind bars, 10 News reports.
Austin Mostrong had been arrested on battery charges just days before the murder, but was released. Lowery's wife told NBC news that her husband had intervened to stop Mostrong from attacking another homeless man with a paintball gun, and that after his release, Mostrong came back to extract revenge on Lowery. The victim was reportedly hogtied, covered with a board and savagely beaten.
At today’s sentencing hearing, the judge said the Mostrong brothers were “completely out of control” and failed to acknowledge “feeling any consequences for your actions.” He called the beating of the homeless man “the height of weakness.”