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All Five Suspects in Utash Beating Have Taken Plea Deals

Sentencing for the four adult suspects is scheduled for July.

All five suspects in the April 2 attack on Clinton Township resident Steven Utash have no pleaded guilty to assault charges. (Patch file photo)
All five suspects in the April 2 attack on Clinton Township resident Steven Utash have no pleaded guilty to assault charges. (Patch file photo)

Three more men have pleaded guilty to assault charges in the vicious April 2 beating of a Steven Utash after he stopped to assist a 10-year-old he’d accidentally hit with his pickup truck.

In exchange for the pleas to charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has agreed to drop attempted murder charges against the men in the Utash beating, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Latrez Cummings, James Davis and Wonzey Saffold made their pleas Thursday in Wayne County Circuit Court at what was expected to be a final conference hearing before their trials, which had been scheduled for August, the Detroit News reports.

Earlier this week, Bruce Wimbush Jr. pled guilty to assault with intent to do great bodily harm in exchange for testimony against three other defendants in the attack on Utash, 5, a Clinton Township tree trimmer and landscaper.

A teenager, whose name has not been released, also accepted a deal Wednesday, according to The Detroit News. Charges of ethnic intimidation against the now 17-year-old juvenile authorities say was the instigator in the attack were dropped, also in exchange for testimony against the others.

The youngest suspect’s parents released a statement, read by their son’s attorney, Solomon Radner:

“We are not racist. We resented the fact that they initially charged him with a hate crime. We have never taught racism in our home.”

Now, the only matters before the court are sentencing.

Cummings and Davis will be sentenced July 10, and Saffold will be sentenced July 7.

Cummings said he hit Utash, Davis admitted to kicking him, and Saffold said he kicked him twice.

Wimbush, who said he struck Utash once, will also be sentenced July 7.

The juvenile could be released from a residential corrections program as early as September.


michelle June 20, 2014 at 09:46 AM
I'm sorry but I don't believe the statement from the parents about not being racist. The kid admitted initially that is what was behind his attack. It is the culture that a lot of them grow up with. On one hand I understand why it still exists. Despite many good intentions from people on both sides; racism is still alive and well. We still have a long way to go. I just hope they learned something from this and can make a positive change in their lives. Holding onto their hatred isn't going to help them go anywhere in life. They could all have received much tougher sentences. So I hope that they can learn and move forward and do something positive. The culture of hate needs to stop.

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