DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Three young men have been sentenced to four to 20 years in prison in the carjacking of prominent Detroit pastor and gospel music icon Marvin Winans.

Montoya Givens, Christopher Moorehead and Brian Young pleaded guilty last month to carjacking and unarmed robbery charges in the May 16 attack at a Citgo gas station.

During Thursday’s sentencing hearing in Detroit, all three expressed remorse.

Said Givens, “I apologize to my family to all of the embarrassment that I’ve bestowed, you know — I was raised better than that. I’d also like to say I apologize to the pastor. It wasn’t (my intention) rob him … but I’m truly sorry for what I did.”

Moorehead said he wants to use this as a means to better himself.  “I understand that these are only words and it’ll be my future actions that show a different, better mature me with morals and true integrity,” he said.

Winans, 54, was attacked while pumping gas.

When talking to police following the incident Winans described a “savage” attack,  although no one was charged with assault. Winans said he suffered a broken finger, bruises and scrapes, but was not seriously injured. The robbers took his SUV, Rolex watch and $250 in cash.

The arrests were made within days of the robbery.

Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Kam Towns told the judge that Winans hopes “these men use this as a wake-up call to get their lives together.”

Winans is pastor of Perfecting Church on Detroit’s east side. He delivered singer Whitney Houston’s eulogy in February.

He was not in court on Thursday.


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