(Reuters) - A Michigan youth pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a reduced assault charge and agreed to testify against others in the severe beating of a motorist who accidentally struck a child in Detroit - the second teenager to do so in the case this week.
The 16-year-old suspect pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and prosecutors agreed to dismissal of an ethnic intimidation charge, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Five people were charged in the beating of Steve Utash in early April after he stopped to check on the 10-year-old boy he had struck with a pickup truck.
The teenager, who has not been named because he was charged in juvenile court, was the only defendant prosecutors charged with ethnic intimidation in the attack. Utash is white and the defendants are black.
The youth was charged originally with assault with intent to murder, prosecutors said.
Bruce Edward Wimbush, who turned 18 after the attack, pleaded guilty on Monday to a reduced assault charge in adult court and agreed to testify about the attack.
The three other defendants, Latrez Cummings, 19, Wonzey Saffold, 30, and James Davis, 24, are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday for a final conference before their trials. Utash, a suburban Detroit resident, was beaten unconscious by the mob and spent six weeks in the hospital. The child he hit was treated for a leg injury and released the next day.
Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney