A court hearing was held Monday for five Michigan teenagers charged with murder in connection to a deadly rock-throwing incident on I-75 in Genesee County.
Kyle Anger, 17; Mark Sekelsky, 16; Mikadyn Payne, 16; Trevor Gray, 15; and Alexander Miller, 15, are all from Clio, Mich. They were arraigned Oct. 24 on charges including second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and six felony counts of malicious destruction of property.
On Monday, all defendants except Anger accepted plea deals. The second-degree murder charge was changed to manslaughter while all other charges were dropped.
Anger's attorney had a family emergency so he did not appear in court Monday. He is expected to accept the same plea deal at a later date.
Police said the teenagers damaged several cars the night of Oct. 18 when they threw rocks off at least two overpasses in Vienna Township. Kenneth Andrew White, 32, of Mount Morris Township, was in a van at the time heading south on I-75 when the windshield was struck by a large rock in Vienna Township, police said. The rock went through the windshield and hit White, who was in the passenger seat. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Sheriff Robert Pickell said he wasn't willing to call the incident a prank, since it resulted in a death.
"It's not a prank," Pickell said. "It's second-degree murder. I don't think anybody's laughing. You make a bad decision, you could be spending the rest of your life in prison. This is not a prank."
"I don't believe this was a deliberate act to take someone's life," Leyton said. "It was a willful and wanton act that resulted in someone's death. These people should've known better. They should've known this could kill someone, and under Michigan law, that's second-degree murder."
"We know we found 20 rocks, one weighing 20 pounds, on I-75," Pickell said.
Police said it was a six-pound rock thrown from the Dodge Road overpass that went through the windshield of a van White was riding in. White was hit in the chest and head, causing major trauma.
Investigators said the five teens left the overpass and drove to a McDonald's to eat.
White leaves a fiance and a young son.
"Nobody wins when young people are charged," Pickell said. "A young boy is left without a father, and many families are grieving."
All five boys went to Clio High School.
Police said Anger turned himself in at the county jail, and the others were arrested. They're being held at the detention center.
Family devastated; victim had 5-year-old son
White's family and the community are torn apart by White's death. Amy Cagle had to tell her 5-year-old son that his father was killed coming home from work.
"He was a good man and a good father," Cagle said.
Police said somebody threw the large rock off of the Dodge Road overpass north of Flint, hitting the van White was riding home in from his construction job.
"For some senseless act, for it to be just a rock, just to take him so soon," Cagle said.
Before White and his friend came through the area on I-75, police said 20 rocks had already been thrown. Four other cars had pulled over, and drivers called 911.
"I just don't understand what a person could be thinking to even want to do something like that," said Alicia Waskoski, White's sister. "To know they're putting lives in danger by just throwing rocks over the interpass."
Investigators have been asking for the public's help tracking down the people who threw the rocks.
"We have a family here," Genesee County Undersferiff Chris Swanson said. "This guy's got a fiance. He's got a child. He's on his way back from a hard day's work and out of the blue comes a rock and he loses his life. We want to find out who's responsible for this."
"He took away a child's father, and the love of my life," Cagle said. "His stupid act took away a life."