July 20, 2005

30 months in prison for teens who beat priest


Published Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The two Springfield teens who admitted beating a Catholic priest in Douglas Park on Dec. 21 were sentenced to 30 months in prison Tuesday.

Jamie E. Gibson, 17, and Ryan Boyle, 16, pleaded guilty to aggravated battery on May 23. Boyle, although only 15 when he committed the crime, was prosecuted as an adult. He will serve his sentence in a state Department of Corrections juvenile facility until he turns 17.

The two hit and kicked the Rev. Eugene Costa, 54, more than 20 times in the head during an encounter after closing hours in the park four days before Christmas.

A Springfield Park District police officer came across Costa's car near the Douglas Park band shell about 10:30 p.m. Costa was found near the vehicle, severely beaten.

A Crime Stoppers tip led authorities to Gibson and Boyle. Gibson told police he and Boyle had cut through the park and stopped near a bench to smoke a cigarette. An older man, later identified as Costa, walked up to them, started talking and eventually offered Gibson $50 for sex acts, police said Gibson told them.

Posted by kshaw at July 20, 2005 08:41 AM