DETROIT (WWJ) – A $1 million bond has been set for a former Michigan State Police trooper charged with murder in the death of a teen on an ATV in Detroit.

Mark Bessner, 43, appeared via video feed for an arraignment Thursday in 36th District Court on one count of second degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter.

Arguing without success for a no-cash personal recognizance bond, defense attorney Rick Convertino told the court he believes Bessner is ont flight risk, having been in the community for almost 20 years.

“He’s been in law enforcement for almost a decade, prior to that he was a practicing attorney,” Convertino added. “He has a home in Wayne County, his wife is fully employed as a special agent in the government, he has a child, he’s not going anywhere, judge.”

A not guilty plea was entered on Bessner’s behalf.

According to State Police, on Aug. 26 of this year, troopers assigned to the MSP Metro South Post, Detroit Secure Cities Partnership attempted to stop 15-year-old Damon Grimes for recklessly driving his 4-wheel all-terrain vehicle. The troopers activated their emergency lights and siren, but Grimes refused to stop, police said, leading troopers in a pursuit.

At some point during the chase Bessner deployed a Taser, striking the teen. At Gratiot Ave. and Rossini, Grimes lost control of the ATV, driving off the roadway and onto the sidewalk before crashing into a parked pickup truck. The teen died of his injuries at a local hospital.

In announcing the charges Wednesday, Worthy said Bessner was found to be at fault for the crash, having deployed his Taser “without legal justification or excuse.”

Outside the courthouse, Convertino told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas and other reporters the high bond came a a shock. He was asked how his client is doing.

“I don’t know his state of mind right now,” Convertino said. “I can only imagine what it must be when a $1 million bond is set in this case.”

Wood said if Bessner does manage to post bond, he will be required to wear a GPS tether.

A $50 million civil lawsuit by the Grimes family is pending against Bessner, accusing him of excessive force.


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