Samantha Grigg, implicated in student's death, receives six to 15 years
ST. JOHNS, Mich. — Samantha Grigg, the Saline, Mich. teen who pled guilty in the death of MSU sophomore Dustyn Frolka, was sentenced today in Clinton County Circuit Court. Judge Randy Tahvonen sentenced Grigg to serve between six and 15 years in prison.
Grigg has already served 95 days in jail, which will count toward her sentence.
Grigg was charged with manslaughter and unarmed robbery for her role in driving two other defendants, Saline residents Brendan Heim, 16, and Tyrel Bredernitz, 18, to Frolka's apartment to rob and assault him. As part of her plea deal, Grigg will testify against the codefendants.
Frolka was found lying in the middle of I-69 in Bath Charter Township with respiratory difficulties. He was rushed to Sparrow hospital where he later died.
Grigg said the codefendants promised her $100 in gas money for a ride to East Lansing, where they were going to rob Frolka. She said she knew they were going to commit a robbery, but went along anyway.
Grigg, who is half a credit away from graduating high school, was hoping to go Eastern Michigan University for college before she was charged with Frolka's death. Although she won't be at her graduation ceremony, her attorney said she would still graduate with the class of 2014.
Frolka's family was present in court and some sported "Keep Calm and Bump D-Fro" T-shirts to show their support for their lost loved one. Frolka was an aspiring rapper who went by the stage name "D-Fro."
Flint resident Eileen Hincka, Frolka's stepmother, addressed the court and lamented the loss of her son, specifically mentioning how Frolka's infant daughter, Melody, will miss him.
"She will never get to know her daddy, except through pictures and other people's memories of him," she said.
Although Grigg did cry during the sentencing, Hincka said she was "a threat to all people with a moral conscience."
"By her actions she has shown she has no concern for human life," Hincka said.
Hincka said she did not seek revenge for her stepson's death, but did believe Grigg should receive the maximum sentence possible. Even though one defendant is going to prison for their involvement in her stepson's death, Hincka said the sentencing brings her no sense of closure.
“These three young people have ruined their lives,” she said. “I don’t think that they were ever thinking ahead at all. They’ve ruined their lives, but they’ve ruined a lot of our lives too.”
Grigg's attorney Ronald Zawacki explained that although Grigg did not show much emotion during her testimony last month, she was deeply troubled by her own actions. Zawacki had previously predicted Grigg would serve a three and a half year sentence.
"She has difficulty sleeping and eating, and she is thinking about this all the time," Zawacki said. "I think people display their emotions in different ways and (Grigg) becomes quiet and withdrawn. She understands the seriousness of this offense."
Frolka's family still was unsatisfied with her demeanor in court, and repeatedly addressed Frolka's inhumane death.
“Samantha drove off without hesitation, leaving Dustyn to die in the middle of the road,” Colleen Hincka, Frolka's stepsister, said. “This … is utter cruelty and plainly horrific.”
Grigg herself spoke out and apologized to Frolka's family.
"I extend the deepest remorse to the family of the victim," Grigg said. "No harm was intended on my part. I've read about how he left behind a daughter and family loved who loved him. He was a fellow musician. It really breaks my heart. I wish I could take it back every day."
Both codefendants Bredernitz and Heim face murder and armed robbery charges.
Bredernitz was scheduled to appear for trial in June. Heim was still awaiting a psychological evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial.