Four Ohio teens face murder charges after allegedly throwing a sandbag from a highway overpass. The bag smashed through the windshield of a car that Marquise Byrd, 22, was riding in last week on Interstate 75 in Toledo. Byrd died from severe head injuries on Friday.
Three of the boys charged are 14 years old, and the other is 13. They had already been charged with felonious assault, reports CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan.
Around 10 p.m. last Tuesday, a woman was driving with her friend, Byrd, under an overpass when something came crashing through the passenger-side windshield. She pulled over and called 911.
“I don’t know what happened! My friend, I don’t know what happened, he’s not moving!” she told the dispatcher. “Something hit my car. And hit my friend. And he is not moving!”
“OK, you don’t know what hit him?” the dispatcher asked.
“No, my windshield is, like, smashed up. … He is laid out on my seat. I think the windshield might have smacked his head,” the distressed woman responded.
Police arrested four juveniles after seeing them leave the area near the overpass. They’re accused of throwing objects off the interstate bridge. It was a sandbag that broke the windshield and hit Byrd in the passenger seat. He leaves behind a 2-year-old son and was reportedly engaged to be married.
The arrests come nearly two months after a similar incident near Flint, Michigan. Five teens there are facing charges of second degree murder after throwing rocks off an overpass, hitting a vehicle and killing 32-year-old Kenneth White.
The four Ohio teens are awaiting confirmation of their next court date.
“It’s not fun and games. I mean, people are losing their lives,” Warren police commissioner Bill Dwyer said. “And the consequences for these kids that think it’s fun and games and a prank, they’re gonna go to prison.”
Prosecutors say given the ages of the boys, their case will likely remain in juvenile court. In addition to the murder charges, the boys are facing charges of felony vehicular vandalism.