Ex-Michigan state trooper loses appeal of manslaughter conviction in stun gun-related death of teen
A former Michigan state trooper lost an appeal this week over his manslaughter conviction related to the death of a teenage driver who smashed his all-terrain vehicle into a truck after the trooper used a stun gun on him.
Mark Bessner’s defense team argued this week that a Wayne County trial judge had omitted evidence that would have helped his case and contended the jury should not have heard a quote of him saying in a separate incident that he wanted to “tase” an ATV driver.
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The appeals court reaffirmed his conviction in a 3-0 opinion.
Bessner was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2017 after Damon Grimes, 15, drove the ATV near the trooper’s car in Detroit while Bessner and another officer were patrolling the neighborhood.
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Grimes crashed into a truck immediately afterward and died.
Bessner said he fired the stun gun from his car because he believed Grimes had a gun. The teen, however, didn’t have a weapon.
Bessner will be eligible for parole in 2024.
The Associated press contributed to this report.