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Man Gets Year In Jail In Detroit Mob Beating Of Suburban Motorist

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James Davis, charged in the mob beating of a Macomb County man in Detroit. (Booking Photo)

James Davis, charged in the mob beating of a Macomb County man in Detroit. (Booking Photo)

DETROIT (WWJ) – Another of the men who pleaded guilty in a mob attack on a metro Detroit motorist has been sentenced to jail time.

James Davis, 35, was sentenced Thursday to one year in jail and five years probation. The judge ruled that Davis could be released early if he’s able to find employment.

WWJ’s Charlie Langton reported that family members of Steven Utash, in the courtroom for sentencing, did not seem happy with what some believe was a light sentence.

Wayne County Judge James Callahan says he was impressed with Davis’ remorse.

“You know, they hurt them; they’re obviously asking for a serious sentence,” Davis’ attorney Jason Melkowitz said of the Utash family. “…I’d be upset of I was them, too. I think the judge did what he had to do and did the right thing.”

The prosecutor hinted that she may appeal the sentence. The guidelines were 19 to 38 months

Sentencing for co-defendant, 19-year-old Latrez Cummings, also in court Thursday, was postponed so the judge could review his school records. A new court date for Cummings was set for July 17.

Davis and Cummings are among five people charged in the April beating. Utash, a tree trimmer, was driving home from work through a Detroit neighborhood when he got out of his pickup truck to check on a young boy who police say darted out in front of his vehicle.

Witnesses said Utash was punched and kicked in the head by a crowd of up to 12 people.

Davis and Cummings earlier pleaded guilty to assault in the attack.

Co-defendant, 30-year-old Wonzey Saffold, on Monday was sentenced to more than six years in prison, while another — 18-year-old Bruce Wimbush — was placed on probation. Saffold got a harsher sentence because of his criminal record.

Prosecutors dropped attempted murder charges against the defendants as part of a plea deal.

The teen who threw the first punch pleaded guilty to assault. The youngest defendant, he had also been charged with ethnic intimidation (Utash is white, and the mob was described as all black), but that charge was also dropped.

Utash is still recovering from his injuries. He was in a coma for days.

MORE: “What Kind Of Defense Can They Use?” Says Utash In Letter To Court Before Defendants’ Sentencing
Catch up on case HERE.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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