Wayne Black, who was 18 when he pushed 22-year-old Ankush Gupta into the water and ran, will be sentenced to four years in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for Aug. 30, per an agreement cut with Baltimore Circuit Judge M. Brooke Murdock.
His mother dabbed tears from her eyes as the deal was done, while Gupta's friends and family sat stone-faced on the other side of the courtroom.
They were devastated by his death and disgusted by Black's deal, which the family was informed of shortly before it was struck. They were hoping for a murder conviction rather than manslaughter, and a prison term of at least 10 years.
A spokesman for the Baltimore state's attorney's office said prosecutors pushed for a 10-year sentence, the maximum allowed for involuntary manslaughter, but that the judge reduced it to four years, based on sentencing guidelines.
"We, as a victim's family, have no authority whatsoever," said Rohit Gupta, who is not related to Ankush. Black "intentionally pushed [Ankush] into the water; it was a murder."
Prosecutor Charles Blomquist filled in the gaps Thursday during the plea hearing, quoting from a confession Black gave authorities.
Black's attorney, Howard Cardin, said his client has been choked with guilt and last year confided in a friend who alerted police.
Black's mother said she would give anything to reverse the past.
Ankush Gupta's family said he was their best hope for the future.
At 22, he was the only child still living at home in Montgomery County with his parents, who emigrated from India when Ankush was 12. He cared for them, delivering medication to his disabled father, Anoop, and shared his dreams of being a NASA engineer with his mother.
Ankush was about to enter his junior year at the University of Maryland, College Park on an engineering scholarship when he was killed, his friends said. They described him as bright, selfless and hardworking.