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Fatal beating outside bar brings 14 years prison
May 24, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Joseph Kaufman

A 24-year-old man who beat a fellow Belmont bar patron so severely last year he later died was sentenced Friday to 14 years in prison.

Joseph Patrick Kaufman pleaded no contest in April to voluntary manslaughter and three counts of assault in the death of 48-year-old Barney Hanepen. The plea deal spared Kaufman a potential 15-years-to-life term if convicted by a jury.

Hanepen was beaten April 29, 2013, outside the Lariat Tavern and died May 2.

Kaufman’s attorney, Jeff Jackson, has said his client feels “very remorseful” and never intended to kill Hanepen. Prosecutors offered the plea to Kaufman in part because the level of intoxication by everybody involved made the case challenging.

Kaufman and Hanepen were drinking separately at the bar and, after it closed at 2:15 a.m., got into an argument outside although it’s unclear what exactly sparked the exchange. The men and their respective companions were all drinking and Hanepen threw the first punch, according to one witness. Kaufman punched Hanepen in the face, pushing him to the ground and repeatedly kicking him in the head and torso until the man lost consciousness. Hanepen suffered broken vertebrae, fractures to his orbital bones, broken teeth and brain bleeding.

Afterward, Hanepen’s female friend departed the scene as did Kaufman and his friend. Nobody reported anything and police found Hanepen lying in the street. He remained hospitalized in critical condition until his death.

Kaufman has been in custody without bail since his arrest and has credit of 448 days against the 14-year sentence. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 restitution fund fine and approximately $4,000 to Hanepen’s family.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: hanepen, kaufman,

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