DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit police officer will have to wait until next year before he learns if he’ll be tried a third time in the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl.
Wayne County prosecutors on Friday said a decision on whether to retry Officer Joseph Weekley will have to wait until February 27. Prosecutors say they haven’t had enough time to review the case because they have been involved in the Bob Bashara trial.
Weekley’s first two trials have resulted in hung juries. All that remains is a misdemeanor charge of recklessly using a firearm after a judge dismissed a charge of involuntary manslaughter during an October trial, saying no evidence was presented to support it.
The victim, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, was shot in the head while she slept on a couch in May 2010. Weekley, a member of an elite police unit, was the first officer through the door during a chaotic search for a murder suspect at her home.
Weekley’s submachine gun fired seconds after a stun grenade was thrown through a window to confuse anyone inside. He didn’t testify, but has insisted that he mistakenly pulled the trigger during a struggle with Mertilla Jones, the girl’s grandmother.
Aiyana’s death capped a chaotic night. With a reality TV crew outdoors, filming for A&E’s “The First 48,” Weekley and other members of Detroit’s Special Response Team raided the home in riot gear after first throwing a stun grenade through a window. It released smoke, bright light and vibrations to confuse anyone inside.
Weekley’s first trial ended without a verdict in June 2013 and his second trial ended in October with a hung jury.
Weekley, who faces up to two years in prison if he’s convicted on the gun charge, says he feels “haunted” by the tragedy.
Earlier this year, the man whom police were trying to find during the raid, Chauncey Owens, was sentenced to life in prison without parole after being found guilty of first-degree murder. Owens was convicted of killing a 17-year-old Je’Rean Blake outside a Detroit party store in 2010. Aiyana’s father, Charles Jones, was convicted of second-degree murder in the case. According to police, Charles Jones provided the gun and Owens pulled the trigger.