A prosecutor strongly opposed a judge's decision to give a lighter sentence to a participant in the severe beating of Steve Utash, 54, reports the Detroit Free Press. Latrez Cummings, 19, got a six-month jail term even though he misled the judge about his school enrollment status, is reported to be a foot soldier for a gang, and claimed a back injury kept him out of work before he violently attacked Utash, said prosecutor Lisa Lindsey. “There is nothing in this report (that is) favorable to this young man,” Lindsey said of an assessment for sentencing guidelines, adding that nothing indicates he should get leniency. At one point yesterday, Judge James Callahan asked Cummings about his father, and the teen replied that he doesn't know him. “That’s what you have needed in your life is a father,” Callahan said, adding that he needed discipline, “somebody to beat the hell out of you when you made a mistake.” “We've all been 19 years of age,” the judge said in response to Lindsey's objections.
The sentence was part of a three-year intensive probation. Of the four men who admitted to assaulting Utash and took plea deals, two received sentences drawing outspoken disapproval from Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. Utash is still recovering from severe head injuries suffered when he was knocked off his feet and pummeled after the pickup truck he was driving hit a 10-year-old boy who stepped off a curb into traffic. Relatives said he has brain damage that has impaired his ability to drive, work and make financial decisions.