"While I'm disappointed, I can't quarrel with her decision, said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton. "I believe that she applied the factors that are set forth in the Michigan court rules, and I think she made a reasonable decision."
This was Leyton's reaction to a judge's decision to try the 16-year-old driver involved in the February crash that killed Flint Police Captain Collin Birnie as a juvenile.
He said the Montrose resident was exceeding the speed limit on snow-covered roads and was passing, weaving in and out of cars, ultimately losing control, crossing over the center line, and crashing into the vehicle being driven by Birnie.
Leyton filed a petition with the Genesee County family court to have the teen tried as an adult.
Last week, a judge ruled that the 16-year-old will be tried for two felonies, manslaughter with a motor vehicle, and reckless driving causing death, as a juvenile.
"You look at the history of the individual. And in this case, this is a juvenile who has not been in the system before. I think you have to look at the maturity level of the individual, I think she took that into account," said Leyton.
If convicted, the 16-year-old faces a maximum punishment of detention until his 21st birthday.
Had he been tried as an adult, the penalty could've been up to fifteen years in prison.
Leyton tells us his office spoke with Birnie's family after the ruling.
"I know they're disappointed. But we had told them ahead of time that nothing was guaranteed. And so, I think they're a realistic family. They understand the criminal justice system. And I think they were somewhat prepared for this potential," said Leyton.
The next court date hasn't been set.
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