Three teenagers will face trial in the brutal beating of a motorist earlier this month on North River Road in Mt. Clemens, a Macomb County district judge ruled this afternoon.
One of the teens, who originally faced a felony charge of inciting a riot, had another felony added: attempted murder. That teen, Steve Lincoln, allegedly stomped and kicked the victim in the head.
That came after a 16-year-old, who initially refused to testify despite being subpoenaed, said he saw Lincoln stomp the man – 30-year-old Andy Kauffman of Plymouth – once in the head.
The teen also said he saw 16-year-old Jemall Davidson stomp Kauffman once as well.
Assistant Prosecutor Steve Kaplan maintains that both teens attacked Kauffman more viciously than the teen described. Kauffman’s wife and cousin said they watched him get repeatedly kicked in the head.
A third teen, Deonte Williams, 17, faces the same charges in addition to a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon because he allegedly confessed to police that he threw a brick through the window of Kauffman’s minivan. In a written statement, he said he threw the brick at random because he was upset about a girl.
That brick incited the incident, Kaplan said, though Lincoln allegedly told police that when Kauffman got out of his car to confront the group of teens – witnesses said between 20 and 30 young men were walking together – he called them the N-word, prompting the beating.
The morning was thick with emotion as the defendants’ families shook their heads and mumbled as Kaplan questioned witnesses.
When the teen witness refused to testify, two deputies were told to escort him in. He still refused, prompting the judge to forbid the media from taking his picture or printing his name because he is afraid he’ll be attacked for cooperating with investigators, Lucido said.
That fear seemed validated during the hearing, during which Lincoln allegedly began mouthing profanities and shaking his head as the teen testified. Lucido warned Lincoln that if he’s found to be intimidating witnesses, he’ll be criminally charged and barred from attending further court proceedings.
Kauffman was in a coma for several days after the attack, his wife, Angela, testified. He suffered bleeding in the brain and a fractured skull.
Through sobs, his wife testified that though her husband is now home after spending a week at Mt. Clemens General Hospital, he’s “not the husband I knew.”
Some of his speech is mumbled and incoherent, she said.
Charges against a fourth teen were dismissed this morning because Kaplan said the two witnesses against him are juveniles being held in a detention center. They, too, likely won’t cooperate to give prosecutors enough information to bind over Johnny Allor, 17.
The three remaining teens will be arraigned July 7 in circuit court.