DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A jury has failed to reach a verdict after two days of deliberations in the trial of a Detroit police officer charged in the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old girl.
Jurors met for about 5 hours Monday before being sent home by a Wayne County judge.
Joseph Weekley is charged with involuntary manslaughter, a felony, in the death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was killed but a bullet to the head during a chaotic raid at her Detroit home in May of 2010.
Weekley maintains he accidentally pulled the trigger when Aiyana’s grandmother, Mertilla Jones, grabbed his submachine gun. The grandmother denies she touched the gun, and another officer testified that there was no struggle over the weapon.
The raid was being filmed for an A&E reality show, and Aiyana’s family members believe the officers involved were more concerned about how they looked on TV than they were about properly conducting their police work.
In closing arguments, assistant prosecutor Rob Moran said Weekley may be a nice man, but his “actions were criminal.”
Defense attorney Steve Fishman claims prosecutors failed to prove their case. He asked the jury to consider whether his client was being truthful in his account of that night’s events, saying Mertilla Jones has no credibility because she’s told different stories about what happened.
The jury could acquit Weekley, convict him as charged or find him guilty of a lesser crime.
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