Robert O'Connor, 46, of South Boston was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison for a 2012 racially tinged bar brawl in South Boston that left his primary opponent without a lower lip.
A Suffolk Superior Court jury convicted O'Connor in March for the 2012 fight at Croke Park in South Boston. A separate jury agreed with prosecutors last week that O'Connor is a habitual offender, which left him open to a lengthier sentence. Prosecutors had asked for 35 years due to O'Connor's record, which includes a conviction for beating up another inmate at Cedar Junction.
Judge Patrick Brady sentenced O’Connor to serve 20 years in prison on a mayhem charge and concurrent sentences of 10 years for violating the victim’s civil rights and 2 1/2 years for assault and battery, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports. Brady imposed an additional consecutive term of 2 1/2 years for committing an assault and battery on a second victim.
According to prosecutors, O'Connor stepped into the bar, also known as Whitey's, on West Broadway the night of Aug. 5, 2012, spoiling for a fight. He started in with a guy playing pool by calling him a racial slur.
O’Connor then began pushing a bar employee before pulling out a knife and holding it to the man’s leg, prosecutors sought to prove. The employee convinced O’Connor to put the knife away, but O’Connor continued to push and grab him. Using a pool stick, the employee attempted to get O’Connor out of the bar. A physical struggle ensued, during which the employee, assisted by the victim and a second employee, got O’Connor out of the bar.
Once outside, O’Connor again called the victim a racial slur and the two agreed to cross the street in order to fight. During the fight, O’Connor grabbed the victim’s head, leaned in, and bit and ripped off a large portion of the victim’s lip. The evidence showed that O’Connor then swallowed it.
The DA's office adds:
Neither the knife allegedly used in the assault on the bar employee nor the victim’s lip were recovered.