(WXYZ) — Former Michigan State Police trooper Mark Bessner has been sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.
Bessner was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes.
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This is the second trial in the case of Bessner, after a jury failed to reach a verdict in his first trial and a judge declared a mistrial.
Bessner was on trial for the death of Damon Grimes, who was riding his ATV in his neighborhood on Detroit’s east side in August 2017.
Bessner was the passenger in an MSP patrol car when he and his partner observed a four-wheel ATV being driven by Grimes down Reno and Fairmont Streets in Detroit. When the troopers attempted to stop Grimes for a traffic violation, a pursuit ensued.
He claims the teen reached for his waistband two times, leading him to think Grimes was reaching for a gun.
The former trooper said he believes he was justified in deploying his taser at Grimes, who then crashed into a parked pickup truck and died from blunt force trauma to his head.
“I thought it was at the time,” Bessner testified. “I know now, it was a terrible decision.”