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May 13, 2019

MICHIGAN STATE TROOPER TO BE SENTENCED IN TASER DEATH OF TEEN

DETROIT (AP) — A former Michigan state trooper is facing a prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter for firing a Taser at a Detroit teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died.

Mark Bessner quit the state police after the 2017 incident. He’s returning to court today for his sentence, about a month after his conviction.

Prosecutors say Bessner “committed an unspeakable act” when he fired his Taser from a moving patrol car and struck Damon (Da-MAHN’) Grimes.

Bessner’s lawyer said the officer believed Grimes had a gun in his waistband, but the 15-year-old didn’t have a weapon.

Bessner, who is white, didn’t testify at his second trial. During his first, which ended without a verdict, he said he was “shocked” to learn that the black teen didn’t have a gun.

MISSING CHILD - HOUSTON

HOUSTON (AP) — A prosecutor says trained dogs detected the scent of human decomposition in the vehicle of a man arrested in connection with the disappearance of a 4-year-old Texas girl.

Derion Vence remains jailed on a $1 million bond after being arrested Saturday on a charge of tampering with evidence, specifically a human corpse.

Vence told police on May 4 that men in a truck abducted him, Maleah Davis and his 2-year-old son before freeing him and the boy. Maleah is still missing.

During a court hearing Saturday night, a prosecutor said dogs trained to find cadavers reacted to the trunk of the car Vence had claimed was taken by the kidnappers.

Police say the vehicle was used to drop Vence off at a hospital, where he first reported the abduction.

SHOOTING NEAR TRUMP PROPERTY IN FLORIDA INVESTIGATED

SUNNY ISLES BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Police are investigating a shooting near one of President Donald Trump’s resorts in Florida that apparently involved a dispute outside a rental car facility.

Media outlets report the shooting happened yesterday afternoon near the Trump International Beach Resort Miami in Sunny Isles Beach. The president was not there and it did not appear to have a political connection.

There were reports of a second and possibly related shooting on a nearby causeway.

Media outlets report one person died and others were wounded outside a rental car facility near the Trump property. Witnesses told the Miami Herald it was a result of an argument.

The Herald also reported the situation apparently has some connection to the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival this weekend at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

SCHOOL SHOOTING - TROMBONES

PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Fifty special trombones have been given out to band students throughout Florida in honor of a teenager who died in the Parkland high school shooting.

The South Florida SunSentinel reports that $50,000 worth of the instruments were awarded Saturday in honor of 14-year-old Alex Schachter, who was a trombone player in the marching band at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Alex was one of 17 people killed by a gunman at the school in February, 2018.

The instruments are engraved with a motif combining Alex’s name and a trombone. The money was raised in part by other students playing music on street corners and intersections over the past few months.

Alex’s father, Max Schachter, says because of the gift, his son’s love of music is “expanding all across the state.”

WOMAN SAVES SELF, CAT AFTER PLUNGING CAR INTO MASSACHUSETTS RIVER

BLACKSTONE, Mass. (AP) — A woman was able to save herself and her cat after the car they were traveling in plunged into a Massachusetts river.

Blackstone Fire Chief Michael Sweeney says the woman had just picked up her cat from the groomer Saturday when she crashed the car into the Blackstone River.

Sweeney says the woman grabbed the cat and climbed out the window before the car sank into the water. The cat was in a pet carrier.

The woman in her 60s was taken to the hospital to be treated for cuts on her hand. Both the woman and the cat are expected to be OK.

TRUMP - ANTHRAX THREAT

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man has been indicted on charges that he threatened to kill President Donald Trump and sent letters he claimed contained anthrax.

Gary Joseph Gravelle of New Haven faces charges including conveying false information about an explosive and threats against the president.

Authorities say 51-year-old Gravelle last year sent letters addressed to Trump, the Islamic Center of New London and other places. The letters contained a white powdery substance with messages such as “you die.” Some of the letters appeared to contain baby powder.

Officials say Gravelle also made bomb threats at a variety of locations.

He has been in custody since he was arrested in September for violating terms of his supervised release. He was previously convicted in 2013 of sending threatening letters.