Teenager pleads guilty in Steve Utash mob beating

Teenager pleads guilty in Steve Utash mob beating

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DETROIT (WJBK) - A teenager has pleaded guilty in the Detroit mob beating of a motorist who accidentally struck a child with his pickup.

"I have a little brother sir and when I saw the kid all I could see at the time was my little brother, and I got emotional and I let my anger take over me," 18-year-old Bruce Wimbush Jr. said in court Monday.

He owned up to his role in the attack and took a plea deal Monday, agreeing to testify against his three codefendants, Latrez Cummings, James Davis and Wonzey Saffold.

Wimbush says he and a friend were walking home from school when the attack happened. He claims they had to wave Utash down after he hit a 10-year-old boy who ran into the street.

"When he stopped, he got out of the car and my friend ... he was in the car and he was like, 'Excuse me sir, can you go check on the kid?' and Mr. Utash tried to hop in the car and he pushed the door," Wimbush says.
 
Wimbush says the first punch was thrown moments later and he joined in soon after.

VIDEO: Click on the video in the video player above to hear more testimony from Wimbush in a report from Fox 2's Randy Wimbley

By agreeing to testify against three others allegedly involved in the attack, Judge James Callahan could sentence Wimbush to probation under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, a program allowing people under 21 to have their records expunged after completing probation.

"You've got to make sure that you do not involve yourself in anymore criminal behavior do you understand?" Judge Callahan said to Wimbush in court.

He responded, "Yes, sir."

Wimbush now faces a reduced assault charge that carries a 10-year penalty. The previous charge could have landed him behind bars for the rest of his life.

He's set to be sentenced July 7.

The plea deal could keep Wimbush out of prison but maybe not out of harm's way. Wimbley reports he received death threats in county jail before and after he struck the deal with prosecutors.

A minor has also been alleged to be involved in the beating. Representatives for the 16-year-old's lawyers say a plea deal is in the works and it should be solidified sometime this week. Sources tell Wimbley the minor may also testify against other defendants in the case.

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