Five teenagers have been charged as adults in the death of a Michigan man who was killed by a rock allegedly thrown off of an interstate’s overpass last week.
Kenneth Andrew White, 32, was traveling home from work along Interstate 75 in Vienna Township on Wednesday night when a 6-pound rock smashed through the windshield of the car he was riding in and struck him while he sat in the passenger seat, authorities said.
White, a father of four, died from blunt force trauma to the head and chest, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said Monday at a press conference.
The five suspects have been identified as Kyle Anger, 17; Mark Sekelsky, 16; Mikadyn Payne, 16; Trevor Gray, 15; and Alexander Miller, 15. They are all from Clio, Michigan, and face charges of second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, six felony counts of malicious destruction of property, and two misdemeanor counts of malicious destruction of property.
All five entered not-guilty pleas and a judge declined to set a bond, The Associated Press reported.
“These people should have known better. Under Michigan law, this is second-degree murder,” Leyton said, later adding that that specific charge carries the potential of life behind bars.
Leyton said a total of 20 rocks were recovered from the scene, the heaviest of which was nearly 20 pounds. Several other cars were damaged but no one else was injured.
“You ought to know, a reasonable person would know, that that’s creating a very high risk of bodily harm or death,” Leyton said, referring to the speed limit of the interstate and the size of the rocks.
Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell told HuffPost that the suspects allegedly threw other items, including a spare tire, from another road’s overpass before driving to the I-75 overpass where White was hit. Pickell said the suspects had collected the rocks in advance.
“When we got the  call, there were already four cars that were pulled off of the highway because they had driven through a debris field,” he said.
Asked if the suspects have expressed any remorse for their actions, Pickell said there’s a chance they may now that they’re in jail.
“After their rock-throwing incident, they climbed back into the van and went to McDonald’s and ate,” he said.
At Monday’s press conference, Pickell praised Leyton for “throwing the book” at the suspects and setting an example.
“It’s not a prank; it’s second-degree murder. I don’t think anybody’s laughing,” he said. “You make a bad decision, you could be spending the rest of your life in prison. This is not a prank.”
Frank Manley, Sekelsky’s attorney, told The Washington Post that he expected an ongoing investigation to unveil facts that would “differentiate and distinguish everybody’s culpability.”
“One-size justice does not fit all,” Manley said. “It’s a broad brush they’ve painted on everybody, but the facts are going to be more particular.”
White’s fiancee, Amiee Cagle, expressed both outrage and heartbreak over the incident that killed the father of her 5-year-old son.
“He was a good man and a good father,” she told WDIV Local 4 News. “For some senseless act, for it to be just a rock, just to take him so soon. He took away a child’s father, and the love of my life. His stupid act took away a life.”
White lived in South Carolina for most of his life before moving to Michigan, according to an obituary. He worked as a construction worker and “enjoyed sports, video games and the outdoors.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for White’s funeral expenses.
This article has been updated with additional details after the suspects were charged. Dominique Mosbergen contributed reporting.