Marine gets year in jail for concert beating

CHULA VISTA - A U.S. Marine convicted of violently beating a man before a country music concert in 2012 will serve one year in jail.

Sgt. Raymond Sharkey was sentenced Friday in South County Superior Court to 365 days in county jail, followed by three years of probation. He will serve no prison time. He could have received a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

Zac Zander was severely beaten in 2012 while tailgating before a Jason Aldean concert at Sleep Train Amphitheater in Chula Vista.  Zander testified that his assailant was Sharkey, who was stationed at Camp Pendleton.

"I had extensive fractures and breaks throughout my face," Zander testified in June during Sharkey’s trial.

Zander and his friends testified the fight escalated to a full on beating just as the concert was set to begin. Zander said Sharkey and several of his friends jumped him on two separate occasions.  Zander had his leg broken and his face was repeatedly beaten.

Sharkey was arrested after a long investigation.

Mother Cheryl Zander told 10News, "It's been hard. It's been a long time. It kind of reopens the wound."

She told the court that the emotional scars run deep.

"I feared that Mr. Sharkey and his friends might find out where Zac lived and try to hurt him," she said.

One night, she said she spotted a man in a black vehicle with Marine Corps markings parked outside his apartment. 

"I went back into the apartment, told Zac to lock his doors and call my husband," she said. "The man soon left but I was very shaken."

Zander's father recalled that he almost fainted when they went to the hospital.

"It was a combination of shock and anger and frustration toward these thugs who did this to our son," he said.

Keith Zander, who was an Army Ranger, found it hard to control his anger.   

"These guys are trained to go out and fight the enemy and when these guys get beefed up on alcohol and go out and try to maim and beat up local citizens, it's sad," he said.

The prosecutor saw no remorse in Sharkey, saying, "It is disturbing, your honor, when the defendant continues to say things in the probation report like, 'I don't see the point of ruining someone's life over a fight.'"

Sharkey is still in the Marines and is based at Camp Pendleton. His attorney told 10News he has not been able to deploy due to the legal issues he's facing.

He is the only one who has been prosecuted.

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