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Ballpark Beaters to Spend Time Behind Bars

Three men who pleaded guilty to beating a man to death outside Citizens Bank Park are all sentenced to prison

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Ballpark Beaters to Spend Time Behind Bars

Philadelphia Police

Francis Kirchner (L), Charles Bowers and Jim Grove (R) are all suspects in the murder of David Sale.

The three men who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter after beating a Phillies fan to death after a bar fight spilled out of Citizens Bank Park and into the parking lot were all sentenced to prison time Tuesday.

Francis Kirchner, 30, Charles Bowers, 37,  and James Grove, 48, all pleaded guilty to beating, stomping and kicking David Sale of Lansdale, Pa. to death in a Citizens Bank Park parking lot in July 2009.

A judge sentenced the men to varying prison terms. Kirchner got consecutive terms of nine to 16 years, Bowers was sentenced to consecutive terms of five to 10 years behind bars and Grove got two to four years to be serve concurrently in state prison.

The three faced up to 40 years in prison and fines of $50,000.

All three defendants apologized to the victim's family during sentencing.

"I'd like to apologize wholeheartedly," Bowers said. "I know I have to live with the things I could have done and should have done, but, unfortunately, I made a different decision."

Sale, 22, was with a bachelor party group drinking at McFadden's Ballpark when a fight broke out with another group of men that were part of a bar tour from Fishtown.

The fight allegedly started over a spilled beer. Both groups were kicked out of McFadden's but the fight allegedly continued outside.

The guilty pleas entered in October were unexpected. That's because a mistrial was declared in September when a prosecution witness and friend of the victim "blurted out" that Kirchner was the one who delivered the fatal blow. That witness wasn't listed as an "identity witness."


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