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Man who admitted beating motorist in Detroit gets up to 10 years in prison

Relative of driver beaten unconscious in Detroit called one of his assailants "a disgrace to America."
By Frances Burns   |   July 7, 2014 at 11:46 AM   |   Comments

DETROIT, July 7 (UPI) -- A Detroit man who admitted participating in the mob beating of a motorist who accidentally hit a child was sentenced Monday to up to 10 years in prison.

A teenager received three years on probation. Two more adults are scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.

At Monday's hearing for Wonzey Saffold, the family of Steven Utash had harsh words for the men who beat him unconscious.

"You disgust me, and you're a disgrace to America," Mary Utash, his sister-in-law, said told Saffold.

Utash spent 10 days in an induced coma after he was attacked April 2. He was far more seriously hurt than the boy he struck with his pickup truck.

Police said Utash was not at fault because the boy ran in front of his truck and that he stopped to give assistance. Prosecutors considered charging the attackers with a hate crime because Utash is white and they were black but accepted the guilty pleas.

Mandi Utash read a statement from her father. He said he remembers being hit by a teenager and seeing two men approaching him -- and then waking up in a hospital.

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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