Jamaica News, April 7, 2018 – Teens Get Suspended Sentences after Murdering Man
USA (Mail Online) – Four Ohio teenagers who pleaded guilty to dropping a sandbag from a highway overpass last December killing a 22-year-old father were given suspended sentences, a judge announced Friday.
The boys, ages 13 and 14, were instead ordered to a youth center for treatment.
Marquise Byrd died in a Toledo hospital on December 29, three days after four teenage boys tossed a heavy sandbag onto Interstate 75 striking the car Byrd was traveling in.
The young father to a two-year-old son was sitting in the passenger’s seat when the sandbag crashed through the windshield hitting him in the head. Byrd was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck.
The teen who dropped the sandbag pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to the Department of Youth Services until he turns 21. The other three teens pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to three years at the the same facility, ABC News reports.
Judge Denise Navarre Cubbon said Friday that all four sentences were suspended in favor of the teens being sent to Toledo’s Lucas County Youth Treatment Center.
‘It’s a treatment facility, for certain services, to provide so these boys change their behavior and can become productive members of our community,’ she said.
Lillian Diallo, a lawyer for the Byrd family, called the decision outrageous.
‘Suspended what? If you do what? So eight months you get to go home?’ she told WTVG outside the courtroom.
‘This child will never be at home. His son will never see him. His mother will never be able to say: “Hey son, how are you? Hows’s your day?” Touch his face, see his face. This is outrageous.’
According to ABC News, 30 letters were written on behalf of the victim calling on a strong punishment for the teens.
One of the boys read a letter in court Friday apologizing to the Byrd family.
‘I pray for him and his family every single day and night and cannot imagine what they are going through and how they feel right now,’ the teen said.
Diallo was still angered by the suspended sentence.
‘Let me tell you something – at the age of 10 you know if you take something and put it in a moving lane of traffic, you should know what the consequence will be,’ she said.
‘You didn’t take the sandbag and throw it on the side. You took that sandbag and you threw it down there to that boy’s death.’
Diallo, who knew the victim, said Byrd was planning a surprise proposal to his girlfriend, the mother of his two-year-old son.