Wayne County Circuit Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway dismissed an involuntary manslaughter charge against the Detroit police officer accused in the 2010 fatal shooting of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, reports the Detroit Free Press.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Officer Joseph Weekley failed to follow his training when he stormed a house looking for a murder suspect with his finger on the trigger and shot Aiyana who was asleep on the couch, according to prosecutors.
All sides acknowledge that Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ death was not intentional. But prosecutors say Officer Joseph Weekley’s actions were a crime because he handled his submachine gun in a reckless manner.
“You have to use ordinary care in the exercise of your duties,” prosecutor Rob Moran said. “He didn’t follow ordinary care. … If he didn’t pull the trigger, Aiyana would be alive.”
Weekley has said he mistakenly fired the gun while trying to wrest it away from Aiyana’s grandmother, Mertilla Jones, who has always denied any interference.
Detroit Free Press reports:
Weekley still is charged with careless discharge of a firearm causing death in the May 2010 shooting, which happened as police executed a search warrant for a murder suspect.
Hathaway then adjourned the proceedings to give the Court of Appeals a chance to weigh in. That court issued an order later Friday, saying it plans to review the judge’s decision.
After Hathaway’s dismissal, attorneys for both sides made their arguments in court documents as to what should happen next.
Steve Fishman, Weekley’s attorney, asked the Court of Appeals to refer the case back to the trial court on the misdemeanor count only.
“The United States Supreme Court has clearly stated that the trial judge’s ruling cannot be appealed and that retrial on that count is prohibited by the Double Jeopardy clause of the United States Constitution,” his filing said.
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