A Michigan prosecutor is fighting to reinstate torture charges against a young man and a 15-year-old boy, already facing charges for murdering a homeless man and disposing his body in an dumping his body at an abandoned middle school.
A district judge on Tuesday ordered the pair to stand trial for murder but dismissed the torture charges against Peris Dorsette, 20, and the teenager, whose name has not been made public because he is a minor. The teen has, however, been charged as an adult.
The two defendants are accused of stomping to death Gary Nagy, 57, a homeless man they found sleeping near the Flint, Mich., school just after midnight on July 30, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutor David Leyton told ABCNews.com he plans to ask a higher circuit court to reinstate the torture charge when the case goes before a higher district court next month.
If the torture charge sticks, the pair will be tried for felony murder with a maximum sentence of life without parole. If there is no additional torture charge, they will be tried for open murder and face maximum sentences of life with parole.
"This was a very, very tragic, very, very brutal murder," Leyton said. "They kicked, hit and stomped this man to death. It was torture. It was essentially an execution."
"They said they felt Mr. Nagy disrespected them. That's why they killed him," Leyton said.
Calls to the suspects' defense attorneys were not returned.
In court on Tuesday, Michael Ewing, an attorney for Dorsette, said there was more to the case than simply being "disrespected" and that Nagy threatened to fight the young men.
"This wasn't just some person lying on the ground," Ewing said in court, according to the Flint Journal.