Michael Costin Jr
. was still a child when he watched as his father was beaten to death at a Reading hockey rink almost nine years ago.
Michael Costin Sr. was killed during an argument with another hockey dad, Thomas Junta, in a case that made international headlines. It was cited as an example of out-of-control parents taking youth sports to an extreme.
But after the case was over and the attention faded away, Michael Costin Jr.'s life spiraled into drug and alcohol abuse and violence
, court records show.
Yesterday, Costin, now 20, was sent to Middleton Jail for 18 months
, after pleading guilty to beating up his 43-year-old girlfriend and stealing her car
two days before Christmas.
Prosecutor Michelle DeCourcey said Salem police were called to an apartment on the afternoon of Dec. 23 by Costin's girlfriend, who said he had grabbed her by the throat, punched her in the face and told her, "You're going to die tonight."
Then he took her car keys and her car and left. A neighbor called police.
Costin has been held in custody since his arrest.
DeCourcey, who asked for a 21/2-year jail term, told the judge that while Costin is still young, he's already repeatedly failed on probation and needs to serve more time in jail.
"Quite simply, enough is enough
," DeCourcey said.
It's not his first trip to jail, either. Costin has already served time for assaulting the same woman and has racked up a multipage record
in the past three years.
Judge Richard Mori said Costin has received a lot of support, including requests for leniency from police officers familiar with his family history.
"I think he's been given a lot of consideration," said Mori, who has heard other cases involving Costin.
Costin's lawyer, James Craig, urged the judge to give his client another shot at probation, suggesting a brief jail term and then strict supervision by a probation officer. He even noted that the victim in the case has offered to take Costin back in when he is released, though he added that Costin no longer wants to be involved with the woman.
But the judge said Costin has failed to take part in programs
offered by the probation department in some of his prior cases to help him deal with some of his issues, including a serious substance abuse problem and mental health problems that may stem from the death of his father.
"I'm really sorry about the thing with your father, but you've got to grow up," Mori told him. "It's got to stop. You just can't do this anymore."