Man sentenced in brutal beating of Vietnam War veteran

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Man sentenced in brutal beating of Vietnam War veteran. (KTRK)

A brutal crime was caught on surveillance video that would make anyone cringe.

In the video, a 72-year-old Vietnam War vet is seen being pulled from his wheelchair and punched several times in the face. Police said the suspect took $38 and three debit cards.

"It really broke my heart watching it," said David Runcie, prosecutor with the Harris County D.A.'s office.

After a year and a half, there is finally closure and justice.

"We got the guilty (verdict)," he said.

Martin Eduardo Villanueva, 34, was convicted this week. He received 25 years for attacking and robbing William Gatewood.

"It was a complicated case we had a few witnesses back out on us at the last minute which made the case harder," said the prosecutor.

Runcie worked tirelessly on the case but just six months after the attack, Gatewood died from cerebrovascular disease.

So on Thursday, Runcie took a detour home to the Houston National Cemetery and he allowed Eyewitness News to come as he paid his respects.

"I'm sorry you had to go through that but we got him for you -- 25 years," said Runcie.

He thanked him for his service and finally gave him the news, hoping the Vietnam War vet can now rest in peace.

"Meant so much to me because he couldn't speak for himself. We took it upon ourselves to make sure justice was done and we could do this in his honor," said Runcie.
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