Teen sentenced to 16 years in prison for beating of Ray Widstrand


Cindarion Butler, 17, was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for being part of a brawl that nearly killed innocent bystander Ray Widstrand, KSTP reports.

In January, a jury found Butler guilty on two charges – first-degree assault and first-degree aggravated battery. They found him not guilty on two counts of committing a crime for the benefit of a gang.

Butler had been certified to stand trial as an adult. He did not take the stand in his own defense.

Chao Xiong of the Star Tribune tweeted Widstrand was in court, along with his mother and father, for the sentencing.

Widstrand, 27, was walking home from work on Aug. 4, 2013 on St. Paul's East Side when he came upon a group of people fighting in the street near his home. He was beaten and knocked unconscious. Police called the brawl gang-related and said those arrested were known members of the East Side Boys or the Ham Crazy Gang. A total of five teenagers were charged in the case.

Widstrand continues therapy after undergoing multiple surgeries. He’s still recovering from a brain injury and missing part of his skull. He was at the court house in January, along with his parents.

“My recovery’s going good,” he told reporters at the time. “Another week I’ll have the mobile IV out, and I’ll start going to outpatient therapy next week.”

Last year, Isaac Maiden, 19, was acquitted of charges against him. In October, a 15-year-old St. Paul boy was given an adult sentence of 103 months that was stayed after he pleaded guilty to first-degree felony assault and agreed to testify. He will serve 18-24 months and will be under enhanced supervision until he turns 21.

A second 15-year-old was also charged with first-degree assault, aggravated robbery and two counts of crime for the benefit of a gang.

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