In October of 2012, a 17-year-old Pioneer High School student was one of three who were allegedly involved in a brawl following a football game between Pioneer and Huron High School. The boy, whose name was not released, was ultimately found guilty on one charge of misdemeanor assault and battery in February of this year. The brawl began when one of the coaches shoved another on the football field; a Huron player, Will Harris, was allegedly kicked in the face when the brawl broke out, although the 17-year-old accused of assault says he never touched Harris.
The defendant was sentenced on Tuesday April 30 to a $50 fine and six months probation, although a news article at AnnArbor.com states that his family will likely appeal. The boy’s public defender, Shelia Blakney, said that he was a good kid; he currently attends Ann Arbor Tech. The attention he has received due to the incident has caused him to miss school, which he attributed in court to the severe depression and anxiety he has been experiencing because of the situation. He told the court that he had no physical contact with Will Harris.
A physical brawl ensued after Huron head coach Cory Gildersleeve and Vince Wortmann became involved in a verbal altercation.
One of the students was charged as an adult; Bashir Garain took a plea deal, and is set to be sentenced on May 14. Another 17-year-old who was allegedly involved in the brawl rejected a plea offer and is set to stand trial on June 24.
The 17-year-old sentenced to six months probation was originally charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, aggravated assault, and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. While the incident would have likely been expunged from his record had he successfully served out his probation time, Blakney said that the sentence will likely be appealed.
Michigan criminal appeals lawyers know that a situation such as this one can be extremely stressful for a teenager, particularly if he/she is not guilty of the crime. While a sentence of probation may not seem all that serious, it is when an individual is innocent.
If you have been convicted of assault or any crime you did not commit, or feel that the sentence you received was out of line in comparison with the offense committed, it is important that you speak with a talented Michigan criminal appeals attorney. The fact that you have been convicted does not mean it is the end of the road.