Mark Sekelsky, 16; Mikadyn Payne, 16; Trevor Gray, 15; and Alexander Miller, 15, announced Monday that they'll plead guilty to manslaughter instead of second-degree murder. In return, they'll have to testify against one of their friends.
It was a highly emotional day in the Flint courtroom. The case has lingered since before last Halloween.
The news of a plea bargain didn't sit well with Kenneth White's family, but Theresa Simpson said no matter how much time the teenagers serve, it won't bring her son back.
"I've lost not only my son, I've lost my best friend," Simpson said. "I love him so dearly. I miss him every day."
Simpson and her sisters were surprised that four of the teenagers agreed to testify in exchange for reduced charges.
Each of the four trudged one at time in front of a judge, alerting him about their change of heart. They all initially pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.
A 9-pound rock was thrown from the I-75 Dodge Road overpass into the windshield of the truck White was riding in, heading home from work. He died of blunt force trauma.
Kyle Anger is alleged to have thrown the rock, and his four co-defendants will testify against him if the case gets that far.
Simpson said the case is a good lesson for young people.
"As long as they get some time out of this, I can deal with that," Simpson said. "As long as they're serving time -- they're going to be 21 before they get out -- I'm all right with that. I will be."
White left behind a son and a fiance.
"One day I'll come at peace with this," Simpson said. "One day I will forgive the children. But as far as right now, I have too much emotion going on. I'm very hurt, very lost."
It's still unclear if Anger will plead guilty and end the need for a trial or if the other four boys will testify.
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