GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The man who pulled the trigger, killing a Kelloggsville student during a January robbery will spend the rest of his own life in prison.
A Grand Rapids judge Wednesday sentenced Mitchell Savickas to life in prison without parole for the death of 17-year-old Isaiah Blue.
Authorities said 18-year-old Savickas and 16-year-old Daniel Benavides followed Blue off a public bus at South Division Avenue and 44th Street in Wyoming, intent on robbing him. Savickas shot Blue once in the chest and three times in the back.
Wednesday, Blue’s mother, Clarissa Seaton confronted her son’s killers in court, reading a letter to both of them.
“You are a coward. You now have to face real men without your gun. As much as I hurt, as much as I want you to suffer, I pray that this pain does not visit you or your loved ones. May you receive the mercy that you did not show my son when you shot him in the back,” Seaton said to Savickas.
Blue’s friends and family also filled the courtroom for the proceedings.
It was Benavides’ turn in the courtroom after Savickas was sentenced.
“Daniel, as a mother I cannot help but to feel sorry for you. You are too young to be here. You have not only stolen from me, you’ve stolen from those that love you too. You stole from yourself,” Seaton said to Benavides.
He previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, apologizing to the victim’s family before learning his punishment.
“I want to apologize to Isaiah Blue’s mother, friends and the rest of his family. I’m not a good speaker and all but these words coming from my heart. I’m not expecting forgiveness, I don’t want forgiveness. I just hope you can understand my intentions weren’t for Isaiah Blue to pass away that night,” Benavides added.
The judge sentenced him to 20 to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder and armed robbery, as well as two years on a felony firearm charge.
Savickas, who represented himself during his trial, claimed he acted in self-defense, believing Blue was armed. The jury deliberated less than 30 minutes before finding Savickas guilty of first-degree murder on July 14.
He declined an offer from the judge to address Blue’s family.
A third teen, Bryshawn Scott, also faced charges. Those were dropped after Scott testified against Savickas.