Ex-trooper may argue self-defense in teen's fatal ATV crash after tasering

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Former Michigan State Police Trooper, Mark Bessner, tried to stop a teen on an ATV for alleged reckless driving on Aug. 26, 2017.

He tasered the driver, Damon Grimes, and the 15-year-old lost control, hit a pickup truck, and was killed. On Tuesday Bessner was on the stand in court.

"You want put all my memories in sequential order," Bessner said. "I can tell you I distinctly remember it. There were a lot of things going through my head as you can imagine, counselor."

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The hearing was held before his trial on second-degree murder charges, in order to have a judge rule on whether his statements he made to a fellow trooper - acting as a critical incident stress manager - are confidential or are admissible at trial.  

"So you wouldn't have told him there was a chase, a Taser deployment, or a crash involving a minor?" said Matthew Penny, assistant Wayne County prosecutor.

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Generally, defendants don't testify, but what they say can be used against him, unless they're confidential.

"He anticipated these conversations were going to be confidential," said Judge Margaret Van Houten.

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Bessner's statements are not admissible. But then something of a bombshell, did Bessner fire his Taser at Grimes in self-defense?  

It is a theory his team wants a jury to decide and it is not going over well with the prosecutor.

"Assuming that self-defense is raised here, there's going to be no testimony that there was ever a weapon recovered," said Penny. "That any shots were fired at Mr. Bessner's car.  I can't imagine any of those things being put in evidence."

There must be some evidence that Bessner was actually in fear of his life when he pulled in fire the Taser. 

The trial starts Monday. If he's convicted, Bessner looking at up to life in prison.