Murder charges for Michigan detective who hit and killed Samuel Sterling during police chase

Bodycam video shows the police chase and fatal hit of a man wanted for several warrants in west Michigan

A Michigan State Police detective who hit and killed a man during a chase on the state's west side will face murder charges after the state's Attorney General said his actions were negligent enough to cause the man's death.

Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant Brian Keely, 50, was charged on Tuesday in the death of 25-year-old Samuel Sterling during a police chase in April.

According to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Keely was part of a task force in MSP's Sixth District trying to arrest Sterling when the man ran on foot in Kentwood. Several MSP troopers and other officers chased him on foot and in their cars – but it was Keely who hit Sterling.

Nessell said Keely was in an unmarked vehicle when he turned and hit Sterling in the parking lot of a nearby fast food restaurant. He was hospitalized but later died from his injuries.

According to Nessel, Keely's actions were negligent and caused Sterling's death.

"My office has reviewed multiple police reports from other officers on the scene, read the accident reconstruction report and autopsy, as well as watched bodycam footage and surveillance videos from neighboring businesses prior to completing our investigation," Nessel said. "We have found Detective Sergeant Keely’s actions that day were legally, grossly negligent and created a very high risk of death or great bodily harm, which could have otherwise been prevented."

Keely is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. If convicted of murder, Keely would be sentenced to life in prison. 

No other details about the chase were released by Nessel. However, in a video released immediately after Sterling's death, the unmarked car can be seen hitting and pinning him against the outside wall of a Burger King.

Officers then stood around for several minutes as they waited for paramedics to arrive. They cuffed him and told him to relax and to focus on his breath. Sterling can also be heard asking for help and why he was hit.

Sterling was wanted after police said he had several warrants out for his arrest.