Man sentenced after gas station beating


MISSOULA, Mont. - A judge sentenced a man Monday to 10 years in prison.

Tureadon Thibodeaux previously pleaded guilty to beating a store clerk with a baseball bat.

The store clerk who was beaten during a robbery in January had some words for Thibodeaux  -- most of them full of mercy.

Patrick Bendig was working at Jay's Mart in Missoula the night Thibodeaux and three others came in to rob the store. They almost beat Bendig to death -- fracturing his skull -- and ran out with cash.

Monday at the hearing, Bendig thanked Thibodeaux for owning up to the crime, and told him he prays for him to have a better life. This was the first time he got to speak to Thibodeaux.

"It was the most trying week of my life, because every moment I thought of it I'd shake uncontrollably, like a seizure," said Bendig. "When I got here I had my friends and my family and people who cared about me, and it gave me strength. Then looking at him and seeing his eyes and knowing what his thoughts were it made it very easy to go and say what I needed to."

The four other defendants charged in connection with the incident have not entered pleas.

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