GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Michael White’s mother brought an urn of the slain teen’s ashes to court Wednesday, telling his young killers “this is what I’m left with.”
“I miss him every day,” Kelly Ann Hogan told the pair. “Our family will never be the same.”
Quentin Schafer and Carlos Delgado, both 15, looked down as she spoke. They pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder in the death of White, a 16-year-old junior at Wyoming Park High School.
His body was found March 19 by a man walking his dog. Schafer and Delgado were arrested within a few days and on Wednesday were both sentenced to a minimum of 40 years behind bars.
Their attorneys had asked that Schafer and Delgado serve a minimum of 30 years, saying both are remorseful.
Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Gerard E. Faber objected.
“This was a savage, brutal, premeditated murder and we are asking for the full 40 years,” he told the court.
Kent County Circuit Court Judge George S. Buth agreed. He vsentenced them to between 40 and 75 years in prison. They’ll be in their mid-50s before they can be considered for parole.
White was found beaten and stabbed at Lions Park. After planning to kill White for about a week, his teen assailants used a knife, brass knuckles and White’s own skateboard to attack him.
“Just stop, just leave me, just leave me here to die,” a mortally wounded White told his assailants, a detective testified at an earlier hearing.
Wyoming detective D.J. Verhage said Delgado admitted to the slaying after being grilled about blood-soaked jeans found in his room. Detectives tracked down Delgado after cellphone data indicated he’d been in contact with White the night of the slaying.
DNA from Delgado’s jeans, Schafer's black T-shirt and brass knuckles recovered at Lions Park tied the teens to the murder. The assailants fled with a designer belt taken from White’s waist, police said.
Schafer and Delgado were prosecuted under Michigan’s automatic waiver law, which allows prosecutors to charge 15- and 16-year-olds as adults for serious crimes, such as murder.