When a man died weeks after Oscar Raul Medina-Perez dropped him with a single punch outside La Barca Night Club in Stanton last year, it was not outside the realm of possibility that the hitter would be looking at a murder count. After pleading guilty to felony involuntary manslaughter, Huntington Beach's Medina-Perez was sentenced today to 10 months in jail and three years of informal probation.
Not that you'll be bumping into him anytime soon.
Westminster resident Leovardo Vera Bustos had been partying with his cousin at La Barca the night of July 5, 2011, when he stepped outdoors and exchanged heated words with Medina-Perez. Things escalated between the 24-year-olds. Medina-Perez punched Bustos once in the face. Bustos fell backward, hit the ground hard, lost consciousness and never regained it. Weeks after surgery to reduce swelling to his brain, Bustos was taken off life support at UCI Medical Center in Orange.
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Arrested shortly after the confrontation, Medina-Perez was originally charged with battery causing serious injury. After Bustos died, the Orange County Sheriff's Department indicated it would file for stepped-up charges. It was not a murder count that came back but involuntary manslaughter.
A murder rap could have had Medina-Perez sitting behind bars without bail pending trial. That essentially happened anyway. Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed a no-bail immigration hold on him shortly after his arrest. Prosecutors expect Medina-Perez to be deported back to Mexico after he completes his jail term.