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Teen who bragged about assault on Twitter sentenced

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Mar 12 2014 09:15:30 PM CDT
OROVILLE, Calif. -

The teenager convicted of punching another man in the face in Chico and then bragging about it on Twitter learned his fate in court Wednesday morning.

19-year-old Rodney Freemen pleaded no contest to assault with serious bodily injury, and assault by means of great bodily injury towards 21-year-old Daniel Chesterman.

It was Freeman's tweet that started it all: "I literally collapsed half of someone's face last night #newsoftheday."

The Chestermans were hoping Freeman would be sent to state prison but instead Freeman got probation and a county jail sentence.

Daniel’s parents, David and Sandra Chesterman, got the chance to confront Freeman sharing the suffering their son has gone through since the attack.

They even shared a statement from their daughter, Kristina, who wasn't able to read it herself, because she was killed by an alleged drunk driver.

Freeman was facing four years in state prison, but after hearing both sides the judge gave Freeman a four year probation sentence and has to serve 270 days in the Butte County Jail.

“I was hoping for state prison time for three to four years,” said Sandra Chesterman. “We'll take what we got but I don't think it's enough. Daniel is going to suffer for the rest of his life.”

Freeman is convicted of punching Chesterman in the face on February 9, in Chico on the corner of Ninth and Hazel Streets. Freeman then bragged about the punch on Twitter.

“I think I could [forgive him] if he showed some remorse and changed the person that he is right now,” said Sandra Chesterman.

“He was being an 18-year-old kid and being stupid,” said Freeman’s father, Rodney Freeman Sr.

Freeman Sr. doesn't deny that his son hit Chesterman, but he believes he was defending himself.

He said Chesterman got in his son's face that night, and his son was forced to react.

“He says I was just scared because there's has been a lot of stabbings in Chico at that time on Ninth Street,” said Freeman Sr. “He told me, Dad I didn't know that was going to be the case. I just reacted.”

Freeman was taken into custody after the sentencing. The court also ordered Freeman to pay at least $59,000 in restitution.

Freeman Sr. said they plan to appeal this sentence so his son can play college football.