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Judge says mob beating sentences will stand

Created: 07/25/2014 12:21 PM WNYT.com
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DETROIT (AP) — Over a prosecutor's objection, a judge declined Friday to order tougher sentences for two men already sent to jail for participating in a mob attack on a Detroit-area motorist.

Wayne County Judge James Callahan said he was influenced by age and other factors in sticking to six months in jail for Latrez Cummings, 19, and a year in jail for James Davis, 24. They were also placed on probation.

Cummings and Davis are among five people who pleaded guilty to assault in the severe beating of Steve Utash, who was attacked in April after accidentally striking a 10-year-old boy with his pickup truck in Detroit.

The boy's injuries were not serious, but Utash, 54, was in a coma for days and still is recovering at his Macomb County home.

Assistant prosecutor Lisa Lindsay disagreed with how Callahan scored the sentencing guidelines when he chose a punishment.

Davis told police that he kicked Utash "two or three times," Lindsay said. "One kick is sufficient to do great bodily harm. The two additional kicks ... amount to excessive brutality."

The judge said Davis is a young adult who is a good candidate for rehabilitation. Davis already gets to leave jail during the day to work at a recycling center.

"I don't want to see you back in here. You can change your life," Callahan told him Friday.

The prosecutor's office is considering whether to appeal Davis and Cummings' sentences to a higher court.

"The low sentences do not reflect the seriousness of the crime," spokeswoman Maria Miller said.

Davis initially was sentenced on July 10. Cummings was in court a week later. At that time, the judge said Cummings needed a father in his life when he was younger, "someone to beat the hell out of you when you made a mistake."

The longest sentence among the five defendants was nearly 6 1/2 years in prison for a man whose punishment was enhanced because of his criminal record.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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