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Former state trooper sentenced to at least five years in teen Taser death

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

A former Michigan state trooper is facing a prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter for firing a Taser at a Detroit teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died.

Update: 12:38 p.m. 

Mark Bessner has been sentenced to at least five years in prison. He told a judge Monday that he understands the anger of Damon Grimes' family. He says he wishes he could enter a "time machine" and change the events of August 2017.

Bessner faces up to 15 years but is eligible for parole after five.

Judge Margaret Van Houten says cases like the teen's death cause the public to distrust police officers.

Original post: 7:23 a.m. Bessner quit the state police after the 2017 incident. He's returning to court Monday for his sentence, about a month after his conviction.

Prosecutors say Bessner "committed an unspeakable act" when he fired his Taser from a moving patrol car and struck Damon Grimes.

Bessner's lawyer said the officer believed Grimes had a gun in his waistband, but the 15-year-old didn't have a weapon.

Bessner didn't testify at the second trial. During his first trial, which ended without a verdict, he said he was "shocked" to learn that the teen didn't have a gun.

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