Jury acquits driver who killed two boys in crash with semi-truck
Mlinzi McMillan, right, was driving the car in the crash that killed two children including his son.
DETROIT (WJBK) - In a case that has already taken many twists and turns, a family is shocked to learn a man was acquitted on reckless driving charges stemming from a car accident killed two young boys.
Mlinzi McMillian, 34, was driving both boys after a Police Athletic League football practice in July 2014 when the crash happened. Police say McMillan was driving at a very high rate of speed in a 30 mile per hour zone near Oakland and Hollbrook in Detroit. He hit the side of a semi-truck. The report shows pictures of skid marks of 165 feet on the street, indicating the excessive speed.
McMillian's own 12-year-old son was killed in the crash, and so was 14-year-old Jalen Jemison. Jalen's mother was dating McMillian at the time. McMillan was admitted to the hospital in critical condition after the crash, but he fully recovered.
Then, a surprise in the case.
McMillan reached a plea deal with the Wayne County Prosecutor for five years' probation and one year in the Wayne County Jail.
In another twist, FOX 2's Taryn Asher showed McMillian's record in a report, which Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway saw. She says she was shocked to learn of his long record -- six prior felonies and seven prior misdemeanors -- and so she brought it up in court with McMillian's attorney.
You can watch the footage from the courtroom in the video report above
Judge Hathaway says Taryn Asher's report caused her to look deeper into McMillian's past, eventually leading her to throw out the plea deal. The case then moved to a jury trial.
And, now, another bombshell.
In the trial, Mlinzi McMillian was acquitted. He was found not guilty of all charges. Jalen's grandmother, Gladys Shaw, was stunned.
"I can't believe a jury would come back with this kind of verdict," she said. "[With] all this evidence against this person. I have never seen a system work like that."
Shaw, who helped raise Jalen, said she is emotionally crushed by the not guilty verdict.
"This means you can kill and be free," she said. "I can't even stand to look at [McMillan]. I can't stand to look at him, if you want to know the truth, or my daughter. Either one of them." Jalen's mother was dating McMillan at the time of the crash.
Shaw said she'd like to hear from jurors as to why they believed McMillan was not reponsible for the deaths of the two boys. But, for now, she says she's at a complete loss to understand.