Co-defendant in vigilante justice case pleads guilty
November 8, 2011
A Sterling Heights man accused of assaulting several teenagers in a case of vigilante justice has pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against his two alleged co-conspirators at trial.
Gerald King, 46, pleaded guilty to extortion, a felony firearms charge, and four counts each of unlawful imprisonment and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder in Macomb County Circuit Court last month.
King received a sentencing agreement of 66 months — 5 1/2 years — in prison in exchange for his plea and vow to “testify truthfully” against his co-defendants: Sterling Heights resident Vincent Bosca and Shelby Township resident Allen Brontkowski. At press time, his formal sentencing was scheduled for Dec. 6 before Judge David Viviano.
Steven Drakos, King’s defense attorney, emphasized that his client will only testify if absolutely needed, which Drakos doesn’t anticipate, based on the “very strong facts” of the case, he said.
“I’m obligated as an attorney to do what’s best for my client,” he said. “Based on the facts, it’s the best outcome I can resolve. He could have easily gotten 11 years — very easily — so we’re very happy with the outcome.”
Drakos said King, who has no prior felonies and full familial support, “made a mistake in life.”
“At this time, he’s trying to make things right,” he said.
Assistant Prosecutor Gordon Hosbein declined to comment on the agreement, citing the fact that Bosca’s and Brontkowski’s cases are still pending.
Like King, Bosca and Brontkowski were charged with extortion, a 20-year felony; the firearms offense, a two-year felony; unlawful imprisonment, a 15-year felony; and assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder, a 10-year felony.
Bosca also faces one count of delivery/manufacture of marijuana, a four-year felony, and one count of maintaining a drug house, a two-year misdemeanor.
It all stems from a June 13 incident in which police claim Bosca, King and Brontkowski held several teenagers against their will at Bosca’s house in the 13000 block of Canal, beating the juveniles and threatening them with a circular saw.
Police reportedly were summoned to the house by the mother of one of the boys, who indicated her son was assaulted there.
Bosca allegedly told officers that his home, where he maintains a medical marijuana grow operation, been burglarized a few days prior. But police say that instead of reporting the theft, Bosca, seeking revenge, enlisted his teenage son to lure the 15- and 16-year-old Dakota High School students he believed responsible for ripping him off back to the house with promises of free marijuana.
According to police, the teens, who arrived in two separate groups, were ushered into Bosca’s basement, where the three defendants bound and beat them, threatening to sever their fingers and toes with a circular saw.
Brontkowski, King and Bosca originally appeared together — with separate attorneys — in 41-A District Court for their Aug. 3 preliminary exam, which was continued to Aug. 24 after it ran past normal court hours.
But the second portion of the prelim was delayed after Bosca requested a new lawyer, and Brontkowski and King waived their right to a prelim, a move that sent the latter two defendants’ cases directly to Macomb County Circuit Court.
After several delays and a change of attorney, Bosca was bound over to Circuit Court Oct. 5. Bosca’s and Brontkowski’s next court appearance, a pretrial conference and motion hearing, is scheduled for Dec. 2.
Neither Nicole Castka, who represented Brontkowski at the initial prelim, nor Robert Elsey, currently listed as his lawyer, returned a phone call for comment by press time. Geoffrey Walker, Bosca’s attorney, also did not return a phone call seeking comment.
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