New plea deals ahead for 4 suspects in deadly I-75 rock throwing case

Top row, from left, Alexander Miller, Trevor Gray, Mikadyn Payne; bottom row, from left, Kyle Anger and Mark Sekelski
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FLINT (WJRT) (8/20/2019) - The four juvenile suspects in the deadly I-75 rock throwing case have about 30 days to negotiate new plea agreements with prosecutors.

Trevor Gray, Mark Sekelsky, Alexzander Miller and Mikadyn Payne of Clio had a deadline Tuesday to decide how they wanted to proceed after Judge Joseph Farah ruled last month that they cannot be sentenced as juveniles.

Defense attorneys for the four suspects obtained a 30-day delay Tuesday, giving them more time to work on plea agreements. The plea deals are due by Sept. 13 and the teens will appear in court on Sept. 24.

The four suspects pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but they have the option to withdraw the plea after Farah's July 23 decision to reject a juvenile sentence.

After Farah's ruling against a juvenile sentence, the teens had the following choices:
-- Keep their guilty plea to manslaughter and accept an adult sentence, which likely means several months in prison.
-- Withdraw their pleas and head to trial on the original charge of second-degree murder.
-- Renegotiate a plea agreement with Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.

RELATED: Judge rejects juvenile sentence for I-75 rock throwing suspects

All four suspects opted to work on new plea agreements on Tuesday.

Defense attorneys were disappointed that Farah didn't take the original plea agreements into consideration. They also reiterated earlier arguments that the teens should be sentenced as juveniles.

"Sometimes, legally, you have to push back and the judge has made his opinion and it's our job as defense attorneys to defend people, and sometimes you have to push back," said defense attorney Mike Manley. "It's not personal. That doesn't mean you don't like a judge or disrespect a judge, but you do have to stand up."

The fifth suspect, Kyle Anger, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and will be sentenced as an adult after the cases against the four younger suspects conclude.

The five suspects are accused of throwing several rocks off the Dodge Road overpass onto southbound I-75 in October 2017. One of the rocks smashed through the windshield of a van Kenneth White was riding in, killing him.

They all have remained in jail since the incident nearly two years ago.