Remember Steve Utash? I do, but no reason you should.
Justice forgot him too:
We watched the system at work.
We watched the court proceedings and saw a judge dispense punishment in the beating of Steve Utash last spring.
We watched — and waited — for justice.
We’re still waiting.
Utash was 54 years old and weighed 155 pounds when he was attacked. He was beaten after he did what many drivers don’t: He stopped to check on a child he accidentally hit with his truck.
He was beaten so severely that doctors had to place him in a medically induced coma for 10 days. Within weeks, police found only four of the 12 to 20 men — and one teen — who set upon him near the corner of Morang and Balfour.
The men pleaded guilty, and their sentences — the last one announced in court yesterday — totaled 7.6 years.
So the bottom line is this: Utash, who was nearly killed by a mob on Detroit’s east side, will spend more time recuperating than the men who beat him will spend in prison.
Utash suffered brain damage. It’s not clear what faculties he will regain, or when.
The prosecutors were rightly outraged:
The sentences for two Detroit men given jail time and probation in the mob beating of Steven Utash will stand, a Wayne County Circuit Court judge ruled.
Judge James Callahan denied motions Friday by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office that sought the resentencing of James Deontae Davis, 24, and Latrez Cummings, 19, said Maria Miller, a spokeswoman with the prosecutor’s office.
Callaham sentenced Davis — who admitted striking Utash, a 54-year-old tree trimmer from Clinton Township, and took a plea deal — to five years of probation with the first year to be served in jail. According to prosecutors, based on the sentencing guidelines, Davis should have been given 19 months to more than three years of incarceration.
Cummings was sentenced to three years of probation with the first six months to be served in jail. His sentence also drew opposition from the prosecution.
“We think the sentences were not appropriate to the crime,” Miller said. “A decision will be made regarding how we will proceed.
What about my man, the irrepressible Wonzey Saffold?
Wonzey Saffold, 30, received a sentence of six to 10 years in prison, in part because of previous convictions.
His courtroom demeanor didn’t help, I’m sure:
Saffold, who was seen showing his middle finger to cameras at an earlier court hearing, was scolded by Callahan on Thursday for not pulling his pants up.
“It’s disrespectful to walk into a courtroom looking like that,” Callahan said.
Paige mentioned his client’s demeanor after court.
“He has a certain swagger in the courtroom that people don’t understand, but he’s remorseful,” Paige said. “He regrets it.”
Here’s hoping he does ten years inside “regretting” it.