Ex-trooper convicted in Taser-related death loses appeal

Michigan

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Court of Appeals has affirmed the conviction and sentence of a former state trooper who shot a Taser at a Detroit teenager, an act that led to his death.

Mark Bessner tried to chip away at his involuntary manslaughter conviction, arguing that a Wayne County trial judge excluded evidence that would have helped his defense, among other issues.

Bessner also argued that it was wrong for the judge to allow jurors to hear about a separate incident in which he was quoted as saying he wanted to “tase” a rider on an all-terrain vehicle.

The appeals court wasn’t swayed in a 3-0 opinion Thursday.

Bessner and a partner were patrolling a Detroit neighborhood in 2017 when 15-year-old Damon Grimes drove an ATV near their car. Bessner said he fired a Taser from his car because he believed Grimes had a gun. The teen, however, didn’t have a weapon.

Grimes crashed the ATV into a pickup truck and died.

Bessner, 47, will be eligible for parole in 2024 after five years in prison.

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