NEWBURYPORT — The case against one of the two men charged with beating a Haverhill man unconscious during a fight at Salisbury Beach Center almost two years ago came to resolution in Newburyport District Court this week.
Seth Sanford, 32, of 2 Ridgefield Road, Merrimac, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the misdemeanor charge of assault and battery in the July 18, 2010, incident. He was charged by Salisbury police with beating Christopher MacRae, 23, at the time, during a fight, resulting in MacRae's being hospitalized after he was found unconscious and bleeding in the Salisbury Beach parking lot.
Sanford, formerly of Miami, Fla., was sentenced to 30 days in the house of correction, the sentence deemed served after he was given credit for 17 months of pretrial probation, 14 months of which was served as house arrest while wearing an electronic monitoring device.
A second charge against Sanford, the felony of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (his shod foot), was filed without a finding by Judge Allen Swan. However, should Sanford get into trouble with the law again, the charge could be brought forward.
Also charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a shod foot) and assault and battery was Chad Larson, 29, of 53 Pond St., Newton, N.H. On Wednesday, Larson's case was scheduled for a jury trial on June 19.
At the time, Larson, who has since resigned, was a police officer with the East Kingston, N.H., Police Department, a part-time officer in Merrimac and a reserve officer in Newburyport.
Sanford, a childhood friend of Larson, is a former Marine with a master's degree and was a high school social studies teacher in Florida at the time of the incident. Due to the charges, his bail and pretrial probation conditions, Sanford had to give up his teaching job and his home in Florida.
Sanford was visiting his father in Merrimac and was out with Larson on the day of the incident, both men drinking at a Salisbury Beach lounge. Although neither knew MacRae, they were walking back to their vehicle when the fight with MacRae occurred, according to court documents. After the fight, Larson and Sanford left the scene in a vehicle before Salisbury police arrived.
Attorneys for both Sanford and Larson have said the fight started because MacRae attacked their clients while they were walking in the parking lot.
MacRae was transported to a Boston hospital, where he was placed in the intensive care unit. He has since recovered with no lasting effects, which caused the charges against both Sanford and Larson to be reduced.
Witnesses at the scene would later give testimony against the two defendants. Salisbury police also gathered numerous forensic samples of blood found on the defendants' clothing, shoes, bodies and vehicle. One of the reasons the case took so long to come to resolution was the lengthy time it takes to get the results of DNA testing.
According to court documents, most of the blood was identified as that of Sanford, indicating he was struck and injured during the fight.