DETROIT (WWJ) – A former Michigan State Police trooper charged with murder in the death of a Detroit teenager will have to wait another week to find out if he will stand trail in the death of a Detroit teenager.
During a brief hearing this morning, a 36th District Court judge rescheduled Mark Bessner’s preliminary exam to next Thursday, to allow his defense attorney more time to prepare for the case. The judge also denied a motion to lower his bond from $1 million; it’s the second time the request has been rejected.
Bessner is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the August death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes, who was joyriding on an all-terrain vehicle on Detroit’s east side.
Police say Bessner attempted to stop Grimes for reckless driving, with the patrol vehicle’s emergency lights and siren activated, but Grimes refused to stop, leading troopers in a pursuit.
At some point during the chase, Bessner deployed a Taser and struck the teen. Grimes lost control of the 4-wheeler, drove onto the sidewalk and crashed into a parked pickup truck. The teen died of his injuries at a local hospital.
Through his attorney, Richard Convertino, Bessner says he “was forced to make a split-second decision under circumstances on the scene and at the moment, which was tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving.”
Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there was no reason for Bessner to fire his Taser — especially from a moving patrol car.
Meantime, a $50 million civil lawsuit has been filed against the trooper, accusing him of excessive force.
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