Last 3 defendants plead guilty in mob attack on driver
DETROIT — Three men pleaded guilty on Thursday to assault in a mob attack on a motorist who accidentally struck a boy with his pickup in Detroit, capping a week of plea deals involving all five defendants in a case that raised questions about race and impulsive violence.
Prosecutors dropped attempted murder charges as part of the deals entered in Wayne County court. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison, although the sentences likely will be much lower.
Steve Utash, a 54-year-old tree trimmer from Macomb County, was severely beaten when he quickly got out of his pickup to check on the 10-year-old boy who had darted in front of his vehicle on April 2.
Utash, who is white, spent several days in a coma and six weeks in hospitals before being released in May. His attackers are black. One of them, a 17-year-old, was charged with ethnic intimidation as part of the attack, although that count was dropped.
Latrez Cummings, 19, James Davis, 24, and Wonzey Saffold, 30, told a judge that they intended to hurt Utash.
Neither Utash nor any of his family members attended the court hearing, but Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, said the family was consulted about the plea deals. She called them a “just resolution.”
“Now that all of the defendants have pleaded guilty, there will be no trial, and hopefully this will allow Mr. Utash to continue to focus on his recovery,” Miller said.
The boy who was struck by Utash's pickup wasn't seriously injured.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Buffet: Berkshire’s built to last
- Most young Republicans back legal marijuana
- Perceived slights have some New Yorkers longing for Pennsylvania
- Huge, ancient quasar could alter theories on black holes
- Florida fisherman’s high court win spurs call for legal reform
- Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Jewish House Democrats’ invitation
- Mo. gunman kills 7, self, in rampage
- Monarch butterflies find milkweed supply dwindles
- White House won’t snub pro-Israel lobby
- French bulldog joins top 10 list in U.S.
- Congress approves 1-week funding measure for Homeland Security