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Article posted: 7/2/2013 4:53 PM

Sucker punch outside St. Charles bar nets 5-year sentence

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Every day, 29-year-old Philip Hoss lives with deafness and ringing in his right ear. He suffers from vertigo that causes him to vomit if he looks up.

"There's nothing the doctors can do," Hoss said about his medical maladies. Without medical insurance and the ability to secure a better-paying job, he cannot afford some doctor visits and a surgery that would help resolve the damage to his inner ear.

Each injury is a constant reminder of how a sucker punch outside a St. Charles bar in October 2009 ruined his dreams to be a professional hockey player.

A judge Tuesday sentenced Jack R. Gray, 29, of the 700 block of Westfield Drive in St. Charles, to five years in prison for aggravated battery. The sentence can be halved for good behavior in prison.

A jury in April 2013 convicted Gray of sucker punching Hoss outside of Pub 222 on the 200 block of West Main Street.

The unexpected blow knocked Hoss to the ground, causing his skull to fracture in three places.

Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Lori Anderson asked for a seven-year prison sentence, citing Gray's problems with drugs and alcohol and his criminal history.

In 2001 and 2004, Gray was fined for possession of marijuana. In 2001, he was charged with criminal damage to several vehicles, including a police car, receiving two years probation, court records show. In 2004, he was charged with selling cocaine within 1,000 feet of Davis Elementary School in St. Charles. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison, records show.

Defense attorney Kathleen Colton asked for 30 months probation, calling family to testify that Gray had changed since his youthful mistakes.

Stan Gray said his son has matured. "He's learning patience and to understand before overreacting," he said.

Jack Gray tearfully asked Simpson that he be given the chance to piece his life back together, and that he understood the pain Hoss felt. Gray also maintained that he is innocent.

He is next due in court Oct. 2 for a restitution hearing. Hoss estimated it would cost $33,000 for a surgery to repair his inner ear.

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