Ex-state trooper sentenced to 5-15 years for role in Detroit teen's deadly ATV crash

Mark Bessner found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Damon Grimes' death

By Dave Bartkowiak Jr., Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®

DETROIT - A jury found former Michigan State Police Trooper Mark Bessner guilty April 17 of a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of Detroit teen Damon Grimes.

On Monday, Bessner was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison. Judge Margaret Van Houten said 15 years is the maximum sentencing Bessner can face.

Grimes, 15, was killed when his ATV crashed into the back of a parked vehicle Aug. 26, 2017 on Detroit's east side. Police said Bessner shocked Grimes with a Taser during a high-speed chase while he was riding the ATV. 

Damon Grimes

RELATED: Former state trooper found guilty of lesser involuntary manslaughter charge in Detroit teen's death

Bessner was sent straight to jail after the jury conviction at 36th District Court. His family was visibly upset and said very little throughout the case. 

Mark Bessner at his sentencing on May 13, 2019. (WDIV)

Prosecutors presented a key piece of evidence -- police dash cam video from a different pursuit chase. Prosecutors said Bessner said he was hoping the police cruiser could get close enough to the other vehicle, so he could use a Taser on the driver.

On Monday in court, Bessner was emotional once again, crying as he addressed the court and the heartbroken Grimes family.

"It was a tragedy that Damon Grimes died that day ... and I'm truly sorry ... if there was a time machine and I could go back and change the outcome, I would," said Bessner before his sentencing.

Bessner also is ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution.

Watch the report from Local 4 News at 5 below:

Watch Bessner speak at his sentencing:

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