A prosecutor “strenuously” and “vehemently” objected to leniency toward 19-year-old Latrez Cummings, the last of five defendants sentenced in the vicious April 2 beating that nearly killed Steven Utash, while the judge overseeing the case said the defendant needs “someone to beat the hell out of you when you made a mistake.”
Wayne County Circuit Court Judge James Callahan on Thursday sentenced Cummings, who earlier pled guilty to assault with intent to great bodily harm, to three years’ probation, with the first six months to be served in jail.
Callahan’s stern words came after Cummings told the judge he never knew his father, the Detroit Free Press reports. “... What you have needed in your life is a father,” the judge said.
Assistant Wayne County Attorney Lisa Lindsey objected to the sentence, arguing that there were other black males in the city who grew up without fathers in their lives, but stayed out of the criminal justice system, The Detroit News reports.
That earned a sharp rebuff from the judge, who said he hadn’t mentioned Cummings’ race in his remarks.
Lindsey also argued that Cummings misled Callahan about his schooling – his sentencing was postponed last week, reportedly so authorities could sort out the status of his education – and alleged that he’s a foot soldier for a gang.
She said there was “nothing” in the presentencing report that was “favorable to this young man.”
“We’ve all been 19 years of age,” Callahan said, sentencing Cummings under the Holmes Youthful Training Act, which means his record will be wiped clean if he doesn’t reoffend.
He could have faced from five to 23 months of incarceration.
All four of the adults charged in the case pled guilty to the same charges in exchange for dismissal of attempted murder charges in the horrific beating of the 54-year-old Utash, whose family said suffers brain damage and is unable to work or drive. He was beaten by a group of up to 20 men when he stopped to assist the 10-year-old boy he had accidentally struck with his pickup truck.
Wonzy Saffold, 30, and Bruce Wimbush, 18 – were sentenced earlier this month. Saffold was sentenced to from six to 10 years in prison, and Wimbush was sentenced to three years’ probation. His record will be wiped clean if he has no further brushes wth the law.
Prosecutors dropped an ethnic intimidation charge against a 17-year-old juvenile, who pled guilty to an assault charge. He is currently in a residential treatment program and will be back in court Sept. 17.