This group of teens, aged 15-17, were arraigned in Genesee County district courtroom after being accused of throwing a 6-pound rock off an overpass near Flint, Michigan, on October 18, fatally injuring 32-year-old Kenneth White.
White was riding home from work when he was struck in the face, head and chest by the rock that crashed through the windshield of the van in which he was a passenger. Kenneth White Sr, White’s father, told CNN affiliate WNEM.
“There’s no words to describe it. I’ve buried my mother, my father, and my oldest brother in the last four years and this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.“
White was engaged to be married and leaves behind a 5-year-old son. A GoFundMe account started by a family friend to help with funeral expenses has raised over $64,000 since last Wednesday.
Amiee Cagle, White’s fiancee, told CNN affiliate WJRT,
“He keeps asking about his daddy. And to tell him he’s not coming back has been hard. I try to explain. He’s so young, he’s only 5, he doesn’t understand.“
Officials believe Kyle Anger, 17, threw the rock that killed White, but all five boys are being charged with the same counts. The maximum penalty is life in prison.
Anger and Alexzander Miller, 15; Mark Sekelsky, 16; Mikadyn Payne, 16; and Trevor Gray, 15, were arraigned Tuesday and pleaded not guilty, according to Gray’s attorney, Erwin Meiers.
David Leyton, the county prosecutor, said at a news conference on Monday,
“To propel the size of boulder down from the Dodge Road overpass to a 70 mph vehicle that’s headed southbound, you ought to know –a reasonable person would know– that that is creating a high risk of great bodily harm, or in this case, death.“
The five teenagers are being charged as adults, with one count of second-degree murder each. They are also being charged with conspiracy to commit murder, six felony counts each of malicious destruction of property and two other lesser charges.
“You’ve got five children charged with offenses carrying life in prison. One minute they’re looking to going to prom or homecoming and the next minute they’re sitting in a detention center.“
(Photos, screen grabs; via CNN)