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Sterling Heights

Last defendant sentenced in vigilante justice case

October 3, 2012

Less than a month after his two co-conspirators learned their fates, the final defendant in a vigilante case involving several local teens was sentenced in Macomb County Circuit Court.

Judge David Viviano sentenced Sterling Heights resident Gerald King, 46, Sept. 25 to two years in prison, with credit for 466 days already served, plus five years’ probation. King must wear a tether during the first year of probation, perform community service, and avoid drugs and alcohol.

It was a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines: Last October, King pleaded guilty to extortion, felony firearms and four counts each of unlawful imprisonment and assault with intent to do great bodily harm in exchange for a sentencing agreement of 66 months.

The agreement also was contingent upon King’s willingness to testify against his co-defendants, Vincent Bosca and Allen Brontkowski, at trial. He did, and a jury ultimately convicted Bosca and Brontkowski on a slew of similar counts earlier this summer.

Steven Drakos, King’s attorney, said he and his client were pleased with the outcome.

“The judge saw that my client spoke the truth, and was remorseful and apologetic to the victims, and I was just very pleased with the outcome and the sentence given by Mr. Viviano,” he said.

Drakos said King, a father with no prior felonies, “made a huge mistake” and is looking forward to serving his time and resuming normal life.

“My client didn’t dance around the issue,” he said. “He did wrong. He knew he did wrong. And with that, he testified like any citizen would under oath.”

Assistant Prosecutor Gordon Hosbein could not be reached for comment on the sentence by press time.

The incident in question occurred in June 2011, when the three adults allegedly lured several teenagers to Bosca’s home on Canal, near Schoenherr, and held them against their will in the basement, beating and threatening them.

The defense claimed that the men were making a citizen’s arrest; Robert Elsey, Brontkowski’s attorney, alleged that the teens had stolen marijuana from the house a few days prior and were returning for another theft. The prosecution argued that it was nothing more than vigilante justice, and the supposed circumstances surrounding the original theft were dubious.

Bosca was licensed to grow medicinal marijuana, but Hosbein previously said that he had more than the legally permitted amount.

Brontkowski and Bosca were sentenced Aug. 30 and Sept. 4, respectively, and received similar prison terms. Between concurrent and consecutive sentences handed down by Viviano, they essentially boiled down to six years and nine months to 20 years behind bars.

At Brontkowski’s sentencing, Viviano described the defendants’ actions as “terrorizing” the victims, and said he believed, based on trial testimony, that the men were trying to protect their drug turf, not teaching the teens a lesson as they claimed.

Viviano cited Bosca’s and Brontkowski’s lack of remorse as a driving factor behind the final sentence.

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