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Defendant sentenced in Capitol Hill beating, robbery

Wednesday - 7/3/2013, 3:32am  ET

maslinfamilyafter.jpg
The Maslin family included this snapshot in a video victim impact statement that was played in the courtroom before Tommy Branch was sentenced Tuesday. (Courtesy U.S. Attorney's Office/Maslin family)

T.C. Maslin is still recovering after attack

WTOP's Dick Uliano reports.

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WASHINGTON - A Maryland man has been ordered to prison for a pair of attacks last summer, including a brutal baseball bat beating that left a Capitol Hill man with severe brain injuries.

Tommy Branch, 22, of Fort Washington was sentenced to 24 years and six months for the brutal beating of T.C. Maslin and a second robbery that occurred in Adams Morgan later the same night.

A brief video presentation shown in court depicted scenes of Maslin's recovery and the Maslins' home life, including images of their 2-year-old son, Jack, with his injured dad.

"The damage caused that night is irrevocable," said Abigail Maslin, T.C. Maslin's wife, in the video.

"The attack was senseless and cruel and we have been given a life sentence ... There is no sentence that will give us our life back, that is gone."

Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, handcuffed and shackled at the waist, Branch took the witness stand following the video, removed a folded piece of paper from his pocket and read in a halting voice.

"I apologize for my actions," he said. "I'm sorry, very sorry for the serious injuries Mr. Maslin suffered.

"I also ask for forgiveness from Mr. Maslin, his wife and his son."

Before the judge sentenced Branch, Assistant U.S. Attorney for D.C. Thomas Swanton noted how brutal the attack was.

"Pieces of his skull cut the surface of his brain," he said. "They removed seven to eight pieces of skull from his brain.

"There's no way he's ever going to be the same. His family is never going to be the same."

Maslin was attacked shortly after midnight last August while walking home following a night with friends that included drinks and a Washington Nationals baseball game.

Maslin was struck in the side of the head with a BB gun and then hit in the side of the head with a baseball bat.

Branch and his accomplices took Maslin's iPhone, bank card and keys.

After a failed attempt to use Maslin's bank card at a SE gas station, the three men picked up another man and drove to Adams Morgan to commit a second robbery.

Branch's accomplice Michael Moore pleaded guilty earlier in the case and testified that Branch hit Maslin in the head with the bat.

Defendant Sunny Kuti will be tried separately. He allegedly was armed with a non- working BB gun during the incident.

At the sentencing, Judge Robert Richter said "nothing can undo the violence that Mr. Branch chose to unleash on that night last year," adding that Branch's actions "showed a coldness of heart that all the remorse in the world cannot erase."

This story has been modified to correct the number of years to which Tommy Branch was sentenced to prison.

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