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Attacker sentenced in assault on ex-NFLer

Dec. 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM

CHESAPEAKE, Va., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- A Virginia judge handed down a 5-year prison sentence to a teenager convicted of assaulting former NFL player and coach Ed Beard last year.

Jalen Riddick, 18, was one of five individuals to plead guilty in the case and the first to be sentenced in Chesapeake Circuit Court.

Riddick was among a group of youths charged with jumping Beard after he happened upon a gang-related fist fight in a field near a South Norfolk, Va., Oct. 23, 2011.

Beard, who played for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1960s and was later defensive coordinator for Detroit, had been out for a bike ride at the time. He was knocked unconscious in the attack and said in court he had since been diagnosed with anemia and heart trouble, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot said.

Witnesses testified at Monday's sentencing hearing there was a large presence of people wearing gray bandannas connected to a South Norfolk street gang.

The Virginian-Pilot said Riddick had denied the claims of his co-defendants that he struck the first blow after Beard was surrounded by a group of assailants.

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