The involuntary manslaughter charge against a Detroit police officer who mistakenly killed a 7-year-old girl during a raid was dropped by a judge on Friday.
The Michigan Appeals Court on Friday suspended the trial of Detroit Police Officer Joseph Weekley, accused in the death of a 7-year-old girl, so it can review a move by the judge to throw out the most serious charge against him.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Cynthia Gray-Hathaway’s decision to toss an involuntary manslaughter charge — a surprising development in the three-week trial — prompted prosecutors to file an emergency appeal to the state court.
Weekley was charged with the felony after he led the May 2010 police raid that resulted in the shooting death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones. He also was charged with the careless discharge of a weapon, a misdemeanor. The raid was being filmed by a crew for a television show.
This was Weekley second trial. The first, held last year, ended in a hung jury.
Defense attorney Steve Fishman requested that the judge dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charge because prosecutors had failed to show that Weekley intentionally caused danger that resulted in the child’s death.
The judge agreed. She also referred to the jury’s instructions as “weak.”
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