Former Mich. trooper found guilty in ATV death

The driver crashed into a pickup truck and died from blunt force trauma after the trooper deployed his TASER during a pursuit

By PoliceOne Staff

DETROIT — A former Michigan trooper has been found guilty of the death of a man who was riding an ATV.

According to local news station WXYZ, former Trooper Mark Bessner was on trial for the death of Damon Grimes, who was riding his ATV around his neighborhood in August 2017. 

Bessner and his partner observed Grimes driving down the streets of Detroit and attempted to stop him for a traffic violation, but a pursuit ensued.

The trooper says Grimes reached for his waistband two times, leading him to believe that Grimes was reaching for a gun. 

Bessner deployed his TASER, leading Grimes to crash into a parked pickup truck and die from blunt force trauma to the head.

During his testimony, Bessner said that Grimes slowed down while pursuing him on the ATV. He didn’t know if Grimes was “taunting” them or trying to lure them into a trap. He said he was shocked to learn that Grimes didn’t have a gun and was only 15 years old.

“The Michigan State Police appreciates the careful deliberation of the men and women of the jury and we are grateful to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for their dedication to justice,” the MSP said in a statement. “We send our sincere condolences to the family, friends and supporters of Damon Grimes.”

Bessner’s sentencing is scheduled for May 2.


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