Trial date set for former Michigan state trooper charged with murder of Damon Grimes

Grimes died last August in ATV crash

Mark Bessner at a pretrial hearing Monday, April 16, 2018. (WDIV)

DETROIT - The former Michigan State Police trooper accused of firing a Taser in the case of the death of a 15-year-old Detroit boy was due back in court Monday morning.

Mark Bessner appeared before the court to set dates for trial in the death of Damon Grimes last August. Bessner was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. He was first arraigned last December.

Mark Bessner at his arraignment on murder and involuntary manslaughter charges on Dec. 21, 2017. (WDIV)

Grimes was killed last August while riding an ATV on Detroit's east side. State police officers were in pursuit of Grimes -- claiming reckless driving -- after he failed to stop when the troopers turned their emergency lights on. Grimes crashed the ATV into a pickup truck and later died at St. John's Hospital.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Bessner, a passenger in a patrol car, fired his Taser out of a car's window and hit Grimes shortly before he crashed. 

Two days later, Detroit Police Chief James Craig announced an independent investigation. Bessner was then suspended by state police for breaking protocol by firing a weapon out of a moving vehicle. He resigned in September.

Worthy recommended the charges on Dec. 20 -- Bessner was officially charged on Dec. 21.

"First of all I want to apologize on behalf of my department, the Michigan State Police, to the Grimes family and what they've been through. And even though I can sit here and apologize and someone can be charged today for this crime, that boy is never going back to his family," Lt. Michael Shaw said in December.

The trial will begin Aug. 20.

Stay with ClickOnDetroit for updates. 

Officer demoted over explicit tirade following teen's fatal ATV crash

A Detroit neighborhood police officer is off the streets after body cam footage revealed an explicit tirade he went on after an ATV crash Aug. 26, 2017 that killed Grimes.

The footage, obtained by the Detroit Free Press through a freedom of information act request, includes an exchange between Officer Aubrey Wade and an unidentified female officer at the scene of the crash that killed Grimes.

Grimes crashed his all-terrain vehicle into the back of a truck while state police troopers were in pursuit. He died from blunt force trauma to his head. State police said a trooper broke protocol by firing his Taser out the window of the moving patrol vehicle. Grimes was shocked before he struck the truck.

The female officer told Wade that Grimes was transported to the hospital and his mother needed to get there.

Read more here

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