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Jury finds state trooper guilty of manslaughter in teen Taser death

Wayne County Prosecutor's Office
Wayne County Prosecutor's Office

A former Michigan state trooper who fired his Taser at a Detroit teenager on an all-terrain vehicle has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Mark Bessner fired the Taser from the passenger seat of a patrol car while he and his partner chased Damon Grimes in 2017. 

The 15-year-old crashed the ATV and died.

Bessner was charged with second-degree murder but a jury convicted him today on the lesser manslaughter charge.

Bessner says he believed the teen was armed and reaching for a gun in his waistband. But Grimes had no weapon. 

Bessner quit the state police after Grimes' death.

This was Bessner's second trial. A different jury last fall couldn't reach a unanimous verdict.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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