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Judge tells teen he needed a dad to ‘beat the hell out of you’ (see the video)

Posted Jul 18, 2014 8:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Michigan judge told a 19-year-old defendant accused in a mob assault on a motorist that he needed a father “to beat the hell out of you.”

Judge James Callahan of Wayne County commented on Thursday before sentencing Latrez Cummings to three years of probation, with the first six months to be served in jail, report the Associated Press, the Detroit Free Press, the Macomb Daily and Reuters.

Cummings was one of four defendants who pleaded guilty in the attack on a motorist who struck a 10-year-old boy who walked into traffic. The motorist got out of his car to check on the boy. After the beating, the motorist was in a coma for days and suffered brain damage, according to relatives. The child who was struck was treated for a leg injury and released from the hospital the next day.

During the sentencing hearing, Callahan asked Cummings about his father, and the youth replied that his father wasn’t around when he was a child.

“What you have needed in your life is a father, someone to discipline you, someone to beat the hell out of you when you made a mistake,” Callahan told Cummings.

Cummings’ conviction for assault with intent to do great bodily harm will not go on his record if he successfully completes probation.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey had argued for a longer sentence, saying the youth’s personal life was no excuse for the beating. "There are plenty of young black males who live in the city of Detroit who are raised by a single mother who do not, I repeat, do not engage in criminal activity,” Lindsey said.

"Did I ever use the term 'black'?" Callahan responded. "It doesn't matter if a person is black, white, yellow or red."

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