Juvenile suspect gets plea deal in Utash beating

Juvenile suspect pleads guilty to assault to avoid ethnic intimidation charge

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DETROIT - A 17-year-old who is charged as a juvenile in connection with the mob beating of a driver who accidentally hit a young boy with his pickup in April has been granted a plea deal.

The teen is accused of being part of a group who attacked 54-year-old Steve Utash on April 2 and was charged with assault with intent to murder and ethnic intimidation.

Under the terms of the deal, he has pleaded guilty to assault less than murder -- a reduced charge -- and will not face the ethnic intimidation charge. He will spend 90 days in a juvenile detention center. The judge will review the case in September.

He was 16 at the time of the alleged crime.

Utash, a tree trimmer from Macomb County, had stopped to check on the boy at Morang and Balfour when, police said, the violence erupted.

Utash was hospitalized in a coma after the attack. He returned home in May after spending more than six weeks in a hospital and rehabilitation center.
The 10-year-old boy was not seriously hurt.

On Monday, 18-year-old suspect Bruce Wimbush took a plea deal in the case, pleading guilty to assault and admitting he punched Utash in the jaw.

The other defendants, 19-year-old Latrez Cummings, 24-year-old James Davis and 30-year-old Wonzey Saffold are due in court on Thursday.

Complete coverage: Driver beaten by mob in Detroit

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