Detroit Man Participates In Savage Beating Of Man Who Was Then Robbed And Left Brain Damaged . . . Judge Gives Him Six Months

latrez-cummingsjpg-094c83ec448d23fcfeatured_Steve_Utash_12395The public is shocked by the decision of Detroit Third Judicial Circuit Judge James Callahan who gave Latrez Cummings, 19, just six months for his participation in the savage beating of Steve Utash, 54, who hit a 10-year-old boy with his vehicle and then jumped out to try to aid the boy. Cummings then set upon him and beat him almost to death — leaving him with brain damage. His survival was not expected and doctors had to induce a coma to keep him alive. In a mob attack that came close to murder, Callahan decided a six-month sentence was sufficient for Cummings who is a gang member.


Some 20 people participated in the horrific attack in April. Some then stole his wallet and belongings.

The sentence shocked Wayne County prosecutor Lisa Lindsey who noted that “[t]here is nothing in this report favorable to this young man.” This included not only his gang membership but lying to police after his arrest.

Judge Callahan decided that a sharp lecture was sufficient with the light sentence. Callahan told Cummings “That’s what you have needed in your life is a father” and “somebody to beat the hell out of you when you made a mistake.” In a odd logic, it appears that the lack of that beating led Callahan to largely forgive the beating he gave Utash when it came to punishment.

Over the prosecutor’s vehement objections, Callahan simply said “We’ve all been 19 years of age.” That is demonstrably true. However, I do not recall joining a mob to try to beat a helpless man to death and then rob him. I do not even recall an impulse to do so. Callahan insisted that it might be different for females at 19 but he can understand how this can happen to a male teenager like this. The prosecutor tried to point out that Detroit is full of males without fathers but most do not gleefully try to beat an defenseless man to death.

The case has remained a great controversy over the response to the beating. Some have objected that, had this been a white mob beating a black driver, it would have brought immediate action from the Justice Department and calls for a hate crime prosecution. The light sentence given to Cummings will magnify those objections. Regardless of the merits of that objection, I do feel the sentence is shockingly light. Utash will live out his remaining days with brain damage and Cummings could be back on the streets within weeks given the time spent in jail before trial. In addition, the family will not be given justice with regard to the mob that beat him. Prosecutors only charged a handful of the culprits in the attack, though some may have been given deals to testify against the most responsible like Cummings.

Hopefully the judges in Chicago are a bit less relativistic after a man was beaten down this week in front of 200 cheering and taunting teenagers. He was attacked while he looked for his young daughter.

63 thoughts on “Detroit Man Participates In Savage Beating Of Man Who Was Then Robbed And Left Brain Damaged . . . Judge Gives Him Six Months”

  1. “If all earthly power were given me,” said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, “I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” After acknowledging that this plan’s “sudden execution is impossible,” he asked whether freed blacks should be made “politically and socially our equals?” “My own feelings will not admit of this,” he said, “and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not … We can not, then, make them equals.”

  2. In 1837, at the age of 28, the self-educated Lincoln was admitted to practice law in Illinois. In at least one case, which received considerable attention at the time, he represented a slave-owner. Robert Matson, Lincoln’s client, each year brought a crew of slaves from his plantation in Kentucky to a farm he owned in Illinois for seasonal work. State law permitted this, provided that the slaves did not remain in Illinois continuously for a year. In 1847, Matson brought to the farm his favorite mulatto slave, Jane Bryant (wife of his free, black overseer there), and her four children. A dispute developed between Jane Bryant and Matson’s white housekeeper, who threatened to have Jane and her children returned to slavery in the South. With the help of local abolitionists, the Bryants fled. They were apprehended, and, in an affidavit sworn out before a justice of the peace, Matson claimed them as his property. Lacking the required certificates of freedom, Bryant and the children were confined to local county jail as the case was argued in court. Lincoln lost the case, and Bryant and her children were declared free. They were later resettled in Liberia.

  3. lets see, Khalid Shake Mohammad isnt brain damaged.

    I guess that is the newest thing in excusing bad behavior, poor boy didnt have a daddy. what a crock of sh*t.

    Probably a very progressive judge.

  4. “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe” really means ‘suffocate me, use the choke hold.” [sarcasm]

  5. Members of the New York City Police Department will NOT use chokeholds. A chokehold shall include, but is not limited to, any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.” (2004 NYPD manual).

  6. Darren, I don’t disagree. Sometimes probation and other means can help a kid turn around, none of it specified by the judge. It’s probably too late for Cummings but maybe the judge sees something that we don’t.

  7. ” Let’s hope the judge is right and that Cummings turns things around”
    ~+~
    It would certainly be better but I don’t expect that someone in that situation will. Those having this much propensity to resort to great violence on whims while being members of criminal street gangs since their early teens do not reform due to the grace of a judge. If anything it emboldens them. They don’t have the same mindset as a regular, law abiding citizen does, that is they see what happened and genuinely change. I’ll bet a person in this position will have a recidivism rate of 90%+.

    Chuck Stanley can offer some true insight into this.

  8. I’m really surprised. Black males get sent to long terms just because. Now here is one who has been involved in doing serious damage and he gets a rich white males sentence. Will wonders never cease.

    The judge was right about 19 year old males. The judgement part of their brain isn’t developed. (I know a few males much older than 19 where this is true, but that’s another story). Let’s hope the judge is right and that Cummings turns things around. Too bad there isn’t a few years of probation to help things along.

  9. Did he present the Afluenza defense?

    Even plants can pass memories on from generation to generation.

    His cultural amygdala did to him what the cultural amydala did to some Navy dudes who shot down an Iranian passenger plane with ~300 innocent souls on board.

    A surge of ENEMY.HATE.HURT came impulsing through.

    Our conscious mind receives a prepackaged impulse wrapped by our amygdala first and our cultural amygdala second … before our conscious mind gets to examine the package with reason.

  10. The sane people in Michigan need to change the name of Detroit to Thunderdome, warning people, particularly Caucasians, to avoid it @ all cost.

  11. This is a hate crime if there ever has been one. This thug would never have beat up a black motorist. Paul Kersey will provide justice.

  12. Greetings Professor Turley: I “understand” [that’s all Judge Callahan needed to essentially exonerate this young man] that His Honor’s mention of the fatherlessness is exactly what caused a News Reporter in Jersey City to be fired by his Television Station’s management [last week]. In that comparative context, I’d be very appreciative if you write an article on Black Male Youths’ excusable behaviors resulting from being raised fatherless in The NeighorHood

  13. When wealthy well-connected war criminals are not indicted, it’s hard to justify strong sentences for poverty stricken small time criminals.

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