Luis Xavier Fontanez
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Man sentenced to 30 years after attacking 60-year-old over alleged stolen boots

A Cobb County man was sentenced to 30 years in prison after an attack that left a 60-year-old man a “prisoner in his own body,” according to the district attorney. 

Luis Xavier Fontanez was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to a 2017 attack that left his victim paralyzed and suffering from a traumatic brain injury, a statement from Cobb District Attorney John Melvin said. 

It started over a pair of boots. 

Melvin said Fontanez was in the parking lot of the Citgo gas station in the 800 block of South Cobb Drive in Marietta when he encountered the victim. The two argued and the victim tried to walk away, Melvin said. 

Fontanez followed the man and hit him, knocking him backward onto the concrete, Melvin said. Then, Fontanez stomped repeatedly on the man’s head.

“Fontanez stopped briefly and walked away before returning to the victim and stomping on his skull several more times,” Melvin said. 

The victim was rushed to WellStar Kennestone Hospital. 

“The victim, now 62, was left with a traumatic, irreversible brain injury, and doctors advise there are no further treatment options available,” Melvin said. “He has made little progress in recovering from the attack.”

The entire incident was captured on video, the district attorney said. 

Melvin said Fontanez accused the victim of stealing a pair of boots. According to Melvin, Fontanez said: “If someone steals from you, what are you going to do to them?”  

“Shooting someone is more humane than what this defendant did. Stabbing someone is more humane than what this defendant did. He stomped on this man like a piece of trash. And as a result, the victim lives as a prisoner in his own body, unable to speak, unable to communicate, captive in his own mind,” Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Green said in court.

Fontanez entered a non-negotiated guilty plea to charges of criminal attempt to commit malice murder, aggravated battery and aggravated assault.

Melvin said during the hearing that Fontanez “continued to blame the victim, interjecting during a relative’s impact statement that the victim shouldn’t have taken the boots.” 

In other news:

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.