Flint judge exceeded authority in case of fatal rock-throwing incident by teens, appeals court says

The Michigan Court of Appeals says a Flint-area judge exceeded his authority when he blocked how four teens would be prosecuted in a fatal rock-throwing incident. 

Ken White was killed in 2017 when he was struck by a 6-pound rock thrown from an Interstate 75 overpass. He was a passenger in a van. 

Five teens were charged as adults at the time. 

But as the case progressed, Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton sought to have manslaughter charges dropped against four and move their case to Juvenile Court so they could get rehabilitation services available only in the juvenile system. 

The move was blocked by Judge Joseph Farah. Leyton says the case will now go to Juvenile Court, though he's uncertain what charges will be pursued.

Judge Joseph Farah (7th Judicial Circuit Court)

White, a resident of Mount Morris, Mich, was killed when the rock hit the windshield, then his face and ricocheted into his chest. He suffered skull and face fractures. The cause of his death was ruled blunt force trauma to his head and chest. 

Seventeen-year-old Kyle Anger was sentenced to 39 months to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty as an adult to second-degree murder. 

RELATED: Juvenile rejection: Judge will sentence 4 teens in I-75 rock-throwing death as adults

Four other teens were also arrested and pleaded guilty to manslaughter and asked to be sentenced as juveniles. However, the judge in the case rejected that deal and said he'd sentence them as adults, prompting the teens to withdraw their guilty pleas.

Prosecutors say several other drivers reported rocks hitting their cars on the highway but no one else was hurt.

The Associated Press contributed to this report