Teens charged in I-75 sandbag death sentenced to youth treatment facility

Teens charged in I-75 sandbag death sentenced to youth treatment facility
One of the teens in a court hearing (Source: WTOL)
One of the teens in a court hearing (Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The teens responsible called it a prank but a juvenile judge is calling it a senseless act that ultimately ended a man's life.

On Friday the teens who admitted to being involved in the death of a man on I-75 in December learned their sentences.

All four teens were sentenced to take part in an intensive program at a youth treatment facility in Lucas County.

If the teens complete the program with the help of their parents they could go back to their homes within months.

The teen accused of actually throwing the sandbag that killed Byrd would be held until the age of 21 in juvenile prison if he does not comply with the youth treatment facility.

If the other teens do not comply with the program they will be sent to juvenile prison for a mandatory term of 3 years or until they reach the age of 21.

The teens' parents are required to be heavily involved in the program.

The day brought pain, heartbreak and absolute brokenness for the family of Marquis Byrd.

The family says the sentence was too light for the teens involved in Byrd's murder.

"This child will never be able to go home his son will never see his father. His mother will never be able to see her son and say 'hey' or touch his face or see his face. This is outrageous," said lawyer Lillian Diallo, who is representing the Byrd family.

Tears and anger showed on the faces of Marquise Byrd's family, who listened to what they called empty apologies in court from the four teens responsible for throwing the sandbag.

Byrd's grandmother says she is still haunted with having to say goodbye to her grandson too soon and is still dealing with the fact he will never be coming home.

The family is now committed to making sure Byrd's 3-year-old son grows up learning who his father really was.

The 13 and 14-year-old boys admitted to throwing a sandbag off the Indiana Avenue overpass onto I-75 back in December.

The sandbag went through a car's windshield, hitting 22-year-old Marquise Byrd of Warren, Michigan.

Byrd later died from his injuries at St. Vincent's Hospital.

Three of the teens plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter, felony vehicular vandalism and misdemeanor vehicular vandalism.

The teen who admitted to throwing the deadly sandbag is being charged with murder.

"I want him to be remembered as the silly loving guy he was. I just know he will never be forgotten and that little boy he left, that is all I got," said the victim's brother Marcus.

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