UPDATE: Aiyana Stanley-Jones

by Lady2Soothe

Aiy

A judge has dropped the felony charge leveled against Officer Joseph Weekley, the Detroit police officer who in 2010 shot 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones to death.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office said in a statement that on Friday Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway dismissed the involuntary manslaughter charge, granting a motion submitted by Weekley’s attorney, Steve Fishman. Hathaway then granted the prosecution’s request for a stay on her decision and adjourned court until Monday. The prosecution will file an emergency appeal with the Court of Appeals.

Fishman said that for involuntary manslaughter to be proved, the defense would need to demonstrate his client acted in a “grossly negligent manner” in the circumstances leading to Weekley is also charged with careless discharge of a weapon causing death, a misdemeanor that might not carry a jail sentence if he is convicted. Weekley had been facing a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for the manslaughter charge.

Weekley was first tried in Aiyana’s death last year; a hung jury caused a mistrial. Weekley is also charged with careless discharge of a weapon causing death, a misdemeanor that might not carry a jail sentence if he is convicted. Weekley had been facing a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for the manslaughter charge.

Weekley was first tried in Aiyana’s death last year; a hung jury caused a mistrial. Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ death. “There is absolutely no evidence, none, that’s in the least bit credible, Officer Weekley knowingly created a danger or, more importantly, intended to cause injury,” Fishman said in court Friday.

Weekley shot Aiyana Stanley-Jones in 2010 during a botched police raid in search of a murder suspect. The raid occurred after midnight, and Weekley was first through the door of the Stanley-Jones home on the east side of Detroit, as a film crew shadowing the officers filmed for a reality television show. A fellow officer is said to have thrown a flash-bang grenade, and Officer Weekley fired his gun shortly after, killing 7-year-old Aiyana, who was sleeping on the couch.

The prosecution and defense have offered contradictory depictions of the events leading up to Aiyana death. Weekley has said the girl’s grandmother, Mertilla Jones, had also been asleep on the couch when police arrived, came up to him and grabbed his gun, causing him to shoot. Evidence presented in court showed that neither Jones’ fingerprints nor DNA were found on the officer’s gun.

Ms. Jones insists she never touched Weekley or his gun, and she testified he put his gun to her granddaughter’s head and pulled the trigger. Last week, Ms. Jones was escorted from the courtroom after an emotional outburst directed at Officer Weekley during her testimony.

Attorney Fishman attempted to discredit Ms. Jones while requesting dismissal of the manslaughter charge. “The only evidence pointing to any kind of knowingly creating a danger or intending to cause injury, the only testimony is that of Mertilla Jones, which is by its nature and by comparison to the other testimony, including the medical examiner, is completely and totally unbelievable,”

During the trial, the prosecution sought to show it was against procedure for Officer Weekley to have his finger on the trigger of the gun and not following his training caused the girl’s death.

Weekley is also charged with careless discharge of a weapon causing death, a misdemeanor that might not even carry a jail sentence if he is convicted. Weekley had been facing a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for the manslaughter charge.

Weekley was first tried in Aiyana’s death last year; a hung jury caused a mistrial.

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