DETROIT – A Detroit police officer who fatally shot a young girl on a couch during a midnight raid filmed by a reality TV show will not face a third trial in the case, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office announced Wednesday.
Joseph Weekley's second trial in the death of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones ended in October with a hung jury. All that remained was a misdemeanor charge of recklessly using a firearm. A judge dismissed a charge of involuntary manslaughter during the trial.
In a Wednesday news release, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy called this "unfortunate" as she announced the case will be dismissed later this week.
"Today we personally informed the family of Aiyana Stanley–Jones that we have made a decision that we would not be going to trial for a third time in the Joseph Weekley case. It is unfortunate that Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway granted a directed verdict dismissing the felony manslaughter charged, leaving only the misdemeanor count of careless discharge causing injury or death. Under the law her decision cannot be appealed. On Friday, January 30, 2015 at 9 a.m., we will move to dismiss the case," said Worthy in her news release.
Aiyana was shot in the head while she slept in May 2010. The shooting was not considered intentional. Police were accompanied by a camera crew from "The First 48," which recorded it from the outside but not inside where Aiyana was shot.
Weekley burst through the door to search for a murder suspect. He said he mistakenly pulled the trigger when Aiyana's grandmother grabbed his gun, although she denies it.
"Obviously we support the decision of the prosecutors office not to try this out again and we are very pleased that we can start putting this behind us," said Mark Diaz, with the Detroit Police Officers Association.
Weekley's first trial also ended without a verdict. He said he feels "haunted" by the tragedy.
Worthy said she will continue fighting for justice.