Two Santee brothers, faced with charges of torture in the brutal beating of a homeless man in Santee, California, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and second-degree murder Friday.
George Lowery, 50, was beaten with "fists and feet" in an assault that homicide investigators described as "a very horrific event."
Lowery was found unconscious on April 24, 2016 in a riverbed where homeless people are known to camp. He was face down under a piece of plywood near Chubb Lane and N. Magnolia Avenue in Santee. He died five days later.
Austin Mostrong and Preston Mostrong beat the victim so severely that his brain expanded inside his skull and killed him, prosecutors argued.
Lowery was also hogtied, covered with rubbing alcohol and pushed face-down into "muck."
Four days before the beating, Austin Mostrong's paintball or pellet gun was taken in a confrontation near the homeless encampment.
In a previous hearing, defense attorneys asked a judge to remove the charges of torture. The judge refused.
On Friday, Preston Mostrong pleaded guilty to manslaughter and mayhem. Austin Mostrong pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
Sentencing was scheduled for January 12.