Man Convicted in West Sacramento Beating

Mr. Hamilton described this incident as “an attempted killing.” According to the prosecution, between 3 am and 3:30 am, in the early morning hours of  January 21st, 2009, Michael Romero along with Mason Antonio Delgado viciously beat Jacques Harpst, a middle-aged man of middle build, supposedly with the intention of beating him to death, and were stopped from completing the killing by a passerby who interevened and scared the attackers away. 

Mr. Hamilton claimed that the sole purpose of this crime and its viciousness was to “send a message” that the Norteno gang was present and was to be feared – to build a reputation of violence.  Mr. Hamilton also alleged that the beating elevated the status of each attacker in the eyes of the other – to build reputations between the two of them.

Jacques Harpst was brutally beaten, according to testimony from ER doctor John Richards, from the UC Davis Medical Center.  He testified that Mr Harpst had major swelling and bleeding all across his face and that he was totally unresponsive on arrival.  He also testified that numerous facial bones of Mr Harpst had been broken and that he was missing teeth. Contrary to the claim in the DA’s press release that the victim was comatose on the street, Dr. Richards stated that the victim had been combative with the paramedics en route to the hospital.

Dr. Richards was most concerned with possible injury to Mr Harpst’s brain, indicated by his unresponsiveness.  He began work to stabilize Mr Harpst.  Mr Harpst was unable to communicate for about one month after the incident.  He remained in the hospital for three months after the incident. 

Both Mr Harpst and his brother testified at the trial that Mr Harpst has suffered permanent damage and personality alteration.  He cannot smell or taste his food.  He is deaf in one ear now.  He has fainting spells and loses his balance spontaneously.  He used to be active but now sits idle and sleeps all day unless directed to do something.  He had a facility for working with computers, but now when he is put before a computer, he does not know what to do with it. 

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