4 of 5 teens accept plea deal in I-75 rock-throwing death
Flint – Four of five Clio-area teenagers charged in a rock-throwing incident that killed a motorist last year on Interstate 75 waived their right to a preliminary examination Monday, accepted plea deals to a reduced charge of manslaughter and were bound over to Genesee County Circuit Court.
Flint 67th District Court Judge William Crawford approved an agreement reducing charges of second-degree murder in the October death of Kenneth White, 32, of Mt. Morris.
Attorneys for Mark Sekelsky, 16; Trevor Gray, 15; Alexzander Miller, 15; and Mikadkyn Payne, 16; told Crawford they had all discussed with their young clients the ongoing negotiations with the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office. All four appeared before Crawford in jail garb and wrist and ankle manacles.
A fifth defendant, Kyle Anger, 18, did not appear in court because his attorney had a family medical emergency and could not attend the hearing before Crawford.
Investigators said the five tossed rocks, one weighing 20 pounds, off an overpass in an effort to hit vehicles on I-75 in Vienna Township. One six-pound rock crashed through the windshield of a van and struck White, a construction worker and father of a 5-year-old son. White later died from injuries.
All five remain in a juvenile detention facility without bond. Their next appearance is expected to be next month in circuit court, where as part of the agreement, the four have agreed to testify against Anger.
"Discussions have taken place with the county prosecutor," said attorney Frank Manley, who represents Sekelsy. "Mr. David Leyton has been very humane in the unusual circumstances and age of the defendants. As negotiations are ongoing, we really don't have anything more to say at this time."
Manley said the five teenagers all "feel terrible" about the death. Leyton could not be reached for comment Monday.
Adults convicted of second-degree murder can face a penalty of any term of years in prison up to life. Manslaughter carries a 15-year prison sentence.
If sentenced as juveniles, which is one possibility, the longest they can be incarcerated is until they reach the age of 21.