Molotov Cocktail Defendant Sentenced

KeNen Michael-Damian Borths, 25, Charlevoix was sentenced to serve 10 to 20 years in prison this morning in the 33rd Circuit Court.

Borths had pleaded guilty earlier to sending an explosive with the intent to cause property damage and lying to a peace officer during the investigation of a violent crime.

According to the plea and court records, on August 8, 2020, Borths purchased a bottle of rum, placed a towel in the neck of it and set the bottle on fire. The bottle was then thrown through a window into a house in the City of Charlevoix at approximately 11:30 p.m.

Borths told the court that he had put out the fire in the bottle before he threw it into the house. At the sentencing, Charlevoix County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mary Farrell disputed this assertion.

When Borths was later interviewed by police, he provided a false story to police, indicating he was not in the area at the time of the offense.

One of the victims spoke at sentencing and described the terror involved in the incident and how it has changed their lives. They indicated that while they did know and forgive Borths, they asked for the maximum sentence to be imposed.

In her allocution, Farrell discussed not only the impact the case had on the victims, but also on the community as a whole, saying “these types of crimes don’t happen up here.”

She also discussed the fact that when the incident was initially reported, members of the public and media raised concerns that the crime was a hate crime because the victims were of color. In fact, Farrell noted, the police knew early on that Borths was the likely offender and that as he is of color himself, and his motivation was personal and not racial.

Farrell also thanked the many police agencies involved in the investigation including the City of Charlevoix Police Department, Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service.

About Allen Telgenhof

Allen Telgenhof is the Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney; he has been an attorney since 1989 and a high school baseball coach since 2005. Graduated from Clio High School, Michigan State University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Proud father of Ty, Ally, Will and Lou and husband to Erin.
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