Man Admits Role in Beating, Burning Tourist in OB

One of two transients who attacked an Australian tourist with a skateboard before the victim was dragged into a smoldering firepit at Ocean Beach pleaded guilty today to assault with a deadly weapon.

Francisco Antonio Montoya, 47, will be sentenced to two years in state prison at a hearing March 16.  

As a result of the plea agreement, charges of torture and aggravated mayhem were dismissed. Montoya could have faced life in prison if convicted on those charges.

Co-defendant Damian Maple pleaded guilty last week and will get 14 years in prison when he is sentenced April 15.

Robert Schneider, 26, an Australian electrician traveling the world, was attacked around 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 27.  A witness told police that Schneider threw sand in Montoya's face, and 15 minutes later, Montoya threw sand back at Schneider, then punched him and
repeatedly hit him in the head with a skateboard.

The witness said Maple egged Montoya on, then started hitting Schneider with the skateboard before dragging the unconscious man into a fire pit.

The witness said he pulled Schneider out of the pit, but Maple scooped up some hot coals and dumped them on the victim's stomach, then pushed Schneider's head into the sand.

Schneider ended up with cuts to his forehead, burns on his back and torso, a broken eye socket and wrist and crushed skull.

Maple also admitted to attacking Justin Heyes at Dog Beach on Feb. 9, 2008.

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