Two Hartland High School students enter plea deal in stalking, harassment case


Photo Courtesy of WHMI.

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) – Two of the four defendants charged with stalking and assaulting a Black Hartland High School student have entered plea deals, reports WLNS media partner WHMI.

Dominic Tyner, 17 and Corbyn Smith, 17, have both entered into plea deals with the 53rd District Court. They will be sentenced on October 19. Under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, their records will be expunged if they successfully complete probation.

Another defendant, Benjamin Elliott, 18, is charged with assault and battery and will return to court on November 3 for a status conference.

The fourth defendant, a 16-year-old is being tried in a juvenile court.

The Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against the defendants in May after an investigation found that 18-year-old Tatayana Vanderlaan posted on Facebook detailing incidents where she was harassed due to her race, hair and appearance.

Vanderlaan said students called her the N-word, and she had to be escorted off campus due to a lynching threat, which resulted in the investigation and charges.

The incident lead to an investigation by the Department of Justice that aims to determine if the district violated title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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