Teen Pleads Guilty To Lesser Charge In MSU Student’s Death
ST. JOHNS, Mich. (AP) – A teen on Monday pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the robbery and death of a Michigan State University student, saying the victim jumped from a moving SUV to escape being attacked and was left along the side of an interstate.
Samantha Grigg told the court that she drove Dustyn Frolka, 19, to ATMs before two others beat and robbed him, the Lansing State Journal and MLive.com reported. Frolka was found unconscious Feb. 15 on Interstate 69 in Clinton County’s Bath Township, near Lansing.
Grigg was originally charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery along with two other teens from Saline. Grigg’s lawyer, Ron Zawacki, earlier said a plea deal was expected. She agreed to testify and faces less than 15 years in prison when sentenced May 27.
She is expected to serve between three-and-a-half years and seven years in prison as a part of the deal, Zawacki said.
“She was basically given gas money to drive these people up,” Zawacki said. “I think she probably didn’t think about what the ultimate consequences of this could be.”
First-degree murder is punishable by life in prison with no chance of parole. In addition to Grigg, Tyrel Bredernitz and Brendan Heim face charges in the case. Bredernitz, who earlier waived his right to a preliminary examination, faces a June 18 trial.
Heim is undergoing competency proceedings. Grigg and Bredernitz were 18 at the time they were charged, while Heim was 16.
Grigg said Monday in Clinton County Circuit Court that she and the others facing charges traveled to East Lansing with plans to beat up and/or rob Frolka, a sophomore from Owosso. She didn’t say how they knew him. She said the SUV was going between 45 and 60 miles per hour when Frolka jumped out.
About $800 was taken from Frolka from alongside the road, Zawacki said. Frolka died from his injuries after being taken to a Lansing hospital.
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