One of the Detroiters who participated in the vicious mob beating of Steven Utash was sentenced today to up to 10 years in prison, while another attacker received three years of probation with the opportunity to expunge his record.
Wonzey Saffold, 30, was sentenced to between six years and four months and 10 years in prison for beating the 54-year-old tree trimmer when he stopped to check on a child he had accidentally struck with his car on the city’s east side.
Bruce Edward Wimbush, 18, received three years of probation with the opportunity to have his record expunged in three years if he doesn’t recommit.
“I’m very sorry to the Utash family,” Wimbush said. “This will never happen again.”
Wimbush received far more leniency because he wasn’t as involved in the beating and because he helped with the investigation.
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Utash didn’t attend the sentencing but his daughter read a letter from him in Wayne County Circuit Court.
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“It’s been real scary for me. All I can say is the people who beat me tried to kill me.”
Co-defendants James Deontae Davis, 24, and Latrez Cummings, 19, are to be sentenced Thursday.
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All of the attackers faced up to 25 years in prison on attempted murder charges.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.