PONTIAC (WWJ/AP) - A teen convicted of manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old at a Detroit-area party has been sentenced as an adult to four to 15 years in prison.
Leonard White told a courtroom in Pontiac on Wednesday that he feels “bad” about the death of Johnathan Rickman.
The 16-year-old White had testified at trial in Oakland County Circuit Court that he stabbed Rickman in self-defense last on June 4 at a house party on Rafford Lane in West Bloomfield Township.
White claimed Rickman punched him four or five times in the head. Defense lawyer Rowland Short told The Oakland Press that White was defending himself from the 330-pound Rickman, who was about three times his size.
Authorities have said they believe White chased Rickman with a knife.
Jurors in Oakland County Circuit, who found White guilty of voluntary manslaughter last month, also had the option of considering involuntary manslaughter or murder.
The victim’s father, Rodrick Rickman, was unhappy with the outcome. He was hoping for a murder conviction.
“I’m very disappointed, very disappointed … I just don’t think it was an accurate depiction of what happened. My son lost his life for no reason at all,” he said.
Rickman attended Walled Lake Western High School, while White attended Walled Lake Central.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who said he knew Rickman’s family, attended Wednesday’s sentencing to support the community.
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