Former Michigan trooper convicted in teen’s Taser death
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 (Da-MAHN’) 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.