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Cop Who Shot 7-Year-Old to Death Will Be Retried

Joseph Weekley

By Ashley Woods

A retrial has been set for Joseph Weekley, the Detroit police officer who shot and killed a 7-year-old girl during a 2010 police raid.
Weekley’s previous trial ended without a verdict in June, with jurors explaining they were deadlocked after three days of deliberating. He has been accused of a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter and a misdemeanor charge of careless discharge a firearm causing death. Wayne County Circuit Judge Cynthia Gray Hallaway set Weekley’s second trial forDec. 4 during a hearing the Detroit Free Press reported.

Weekley and prosecutors both agree that the shot that took Aiyana Stanley-Jones’s life came from his gun. That night, the young girl was sleeping on a couch in the downstairs apartment of a duplex on Lillibridge Street while her grandmother watched television, as detailed in a report on her death in Mother Jones.

Weekley was part of a team of cops attempting a risky midnight raid to arrest a suspect accused of shooting a teenager outside a party store. A video crew from the A&E documentary show, ‘The First 48,” was on hand to record the action. Then, a stun grenade was thrown through the window of the home, and Weekley was the first officer to storm inside.

But that’s where the joint recollection ends. Weekley said that the victim’s grandmother, Mertilla Jones, grabbed his submachine gun, which jostled his finger onto the trigger. He claimed that he didn’t even feel the recoil of the gun going off. His defense attorney, Steve Fishman, insists that Aiyana’s death was, simply, a tragic accident.

To make matters worse, it eventually emerged that the police had thrown the grenade into the wrong flat. Police had received the name and address for the suspect they were hunting from an informant. The suspect, Chauncey Owens, who was arrested, actually lived upstairs.

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