Prosecutors will not seek to retry a Detroit police officer who accidentally shot and killed a 7-year-old girl during a 2010 raid, ending a years-long legal battle that has featured two mistrials.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Wayne County prosecutor Kym L. Worthy said she had informed relatives of Aiyana Stanley-Jones that she would not seek a third trial for Officer Joseph Weekley, who has been accused of involuntary manslaughter and reckless use of his firearm.
Worthy blamed the decision on an October ruling by Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway, who dismissed the manslaughter charge against Weekley during the 2014 trial. She declared a mistrial days later when a Wayne County jury deadlocked: Seven of the 12 members voted to acquit Weekley of the reckless discharge offense, the only remaining charge on the indictment.
Weekley was first prosecuted in 2013, but a jury could not reach a verdict in that trial either. Worthy said her office would move to dismiss all charges Friday.
Aiyana was killed in May 2010 when Weekley and several other officers raided a Detroit home. Weekley has said his gun accidentally discharged when the victim's grandmother, Mertilla Jones, reached for it.
Jones has contended that the fatal shot was fired only seconds after officers lobbed a stun grenade at the property and breached the home.
Aiyana, who was leaning on the armrest of a couch, was shot once in the head.
During the 2013 trial, neighbors said they warned the police that there were children inside the home.
"As soon as they came in, their guns were just pointing right there, and he pulled the trigger,” Jones said at the first trial. “I seen the light leave out of her eyes and the blood started gushing out her mouth and she was dead.”
Weekley has remained on administrative leave since the incident, according to Sgt. Mike Woody, a Detroit police spokesman.
At the time of the shooting, Weekley was a member of the department's Special Response Team. Woody declined to comment on his future with the department.
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