Trial continues against MSP trooper charged with murder after Tasing Detroit teen on ATV

Mark Bessner charged with murder of Damon Grimes

Ex-MSP trooper Mark Bessner was not called to the stand in his defense in the case of a Detroit teenager who was killed when Bessner shot a taser and caused the teen to crash his ATV.

DETROIT – The defense rested its case without former Michigan State Trooper Mark Bessner testifying in his own defense.

That’s a major change from the first trial. 

There were a lot of twists and turns Tuesday inside the courtroom, along with some legal matters that the judge had to deal with first. 

Local 4 learned that a witness who is a state trooper wanted to use his Fifth Amendment right. He didn’t testify on Tuesday. 

Related: Judge rules MSP trooper doesn't have to testify at Mark Bessner's trial

Bessner is charged with murder in the death of 15-year old Damon Grimes on Aug. 26, 2017. 

Police said Bessner shocked Grimes with a Taser during a high-speed chase while he was riding an ATV. Grimes crashed and died. 

The prosecution team said Bessner didn’t have to use the Taser.

“This Taser was deadly force. The question for you ladies and gentlemen is to determine: is it reasonable to use a Taser on somebody, to use deadly force against somebody in that circumstance? Obviously the answer is 'no.'” 

Meanwhile, Bessner’s attorney told the court, he used the Taser for self-defense because he was scared for his life.

“This is a case about facts. It’s critical. It’s critical that you put that aside and you analyze the facts of this case. Why would he deploy a Taser before he stopped? Because he thought his life was in danger,” the attorney said.

But the prosecution team didn’t agree, saying, "No yells, no screams, no gasps, no grunts -- nothing you would expect from somebody faced with death.”

About the Author:

Larry Spruill Jr. joined the Local 4 News team in January 2018. Prior, he worked at WJAX in Jacksonville, Florida. Larry grew up as a military kid because his father is a retired Chief of the United States Air Force.