Former Michigan trooper convicted in teen's Taser death

Mark Bessner
By  | 

DETROIT (AP) - A former Michigan state trooper who fired his Taser at a Detroit teenager on an all-terrain vehicle has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Mark Bessner fired the Taser from the passenger seat of a patrol car while he and his partner chased Damon Grimes in 2017. The 15-year-old crashed the ATV and died.

Bessner was charged with second-degree murder but a jury convicted him Wednesday on the lesser manslaughter charge.

Bessner says he believed the teen was armed and was reaching for a gun in his waistband. But Grimes had no weapon. Assistant prosecutor Matthew Penney said it defied "common sense" to use a Taser on a joy-rider.

Bessner quit the state police after Grimes' death.

It was his second trial: A different jury last fall couldn't reach a unanimous verdict.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

4/17/2019 2:42:01 PM (GMT -4:00)