(WJBK) - The family of a teen killed on an ATV is making requests when it comes to the trial of an MSP trooper charged in the boy's death.
According to the family of 15-year-old Damon Grimes, a spokesperson for the family, Oliver Gantt, is delivering a letter to the judge assigned to the case of former MSP trooper Mark Bessner, requesting that he keep wearing a tether despite a mistrial being declared in his case last week. Bessner was charged in the death of 15-year-old Grimes, who died after being tased by Bessner as he was riding an ATV in a Detroit neighborhood last year.
After the mistrial was declared when the jury could not reach a verdict, the judge set a pretrial hearing for this Wednesday. That's when a new trial date is expected to be set and the judge also stated she would decided if Bessner can have his tether removed.
"The family does not want to see Mark Bessner's tether removed because that would appear to be another black eye," he said.
But Bessner's attorney, Richard Convertin, thinks otherwise.
"Mark Bessner is clearly not a risk of flight and that is the primary purpose of a tether, to monitor a location and make sure the person will appear in court. A tether is not used as punishment or retribution. Mr. Bessner has appeared in every pretrial and trial proceeding and he testified in his own defense. He isn't going anywhere and he's proven that time and time again."
That letter to the judge is not the only letter the family is sending out this week. The Grimes family is also writing a letter to Wayne County Prosecutor Kim Worthy asking for changes.
"They feel that the last prosecutor was just too passive," Gantt said. "We're just hoping Kim Worthy take a look at this that she appoint another prosecutor and/or talk to this prosecutor, he may do a better job next time."
The prosecutor's office tells Fox 2 that when they receive that letter they will set a meeting with Prosecutor Worthy to discuss the family's concerns. Gantt says the family was upset by the mistrial but they still remain hopeful their efforts for changes leading up to the new trial will bring justice for Damon.
"They want to go on now and try to resume things in a peaceful manner until it's time for them to get back in trial," he said.