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Jury struggling in murder trial of ex-Michigan trooper

Former Michigan State Police trooper Mark Bessner testifies, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit. Bessner whose use of a Taser preceded the death of a 15-year-old Detroit boy says he “absolutely” believed the teen was armed and was “shocked” to learn there was no gun. . (John T. Greilick/Detroit News via AP)

DETROIT (AP) — Jurors say they don’t believe they can reach a verdict in the murder trial of a former Michigan trooper who shot his Taser at a Detroit teen before the boy crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died.

But Wayne County Judge Margaret Van Houten told jurors to eat lunch, clear their heads and return to court to resume deliberations Tuesday. She urged them to talk “in a spirit of fairness and frankness.”

Mark Bessner is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Damon (Da-MAHN’) Grimes on a Detroit street in August 2017. Bessner shot Grimes with a Taser and the 15-year-old crashed his ATV. Bessner says he believed the boy was armed, although he was wrong.

The jury also could choose the lesser offense of involuntary manslaughter. Deliberations began Monday.

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