Brothers Austin and Preston Mostrong, 21 and 20 respectively, face murder and torture charges in the brutal death of 50-year-old George Lowery, who may have stolen a paintball gun from them.
Lowery was homeless at the time of his death. He lived in San Diego, California.
Lawyers for the Mostrong brothers say that they were acting in self-defense and that Lowery approached them with a machete. Prosecutors say the Mostrong brothers returned to the homeless camp to extract revenge.
What’s not up for deliberation is what happened to Lowery.
His wife, who is also homeless, found him near death under a piece of plywood the next morning. He’d been hog-tied at his hands and feet, wounds soaked with alcohol, and had been beaten so badly his brain was swelling inside his skull, which would ultimately kill him after five days.
Both defendants were on probation for separate crimes at the time. Austin Mostrong was on probation for theft and his brother Preston was on probation for misdemeanor assault.
Each faces a 25-year sentence as well as an additional life sentence if convicted on all charges. They go to court in October.
Deputy District Attorney George Modlin told a court Friday, “There’s murder and then there is what happened here,” according to the New York Daily News.