Daily Briefs

Mom convicted in Benadryl OD death to get new sentence

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — An appeals court says a Michigan woman convicted in her son’s death from a Benadryl overdose should get a lighter sentence.

The Times Herald of Port Huron reports the court found that some sentencing guideline rankings were incorrect for Elizabeth Long of St. Clair County.

Long was sentenced in 2016 to 22-50 years in prison after jury found her guilty of second-degree murder and second-degree child abuse. The Michigan appeals court says the minimum should be 15 to 25 years.

Sixteen-month-old Lukas died in 2015. Investigators say he had at least 10 times the normal amount of the medication in his system.

Long says she didn’t intend to harm her child. She had testified that she gave him a teaspoon of Benadryl and a chewable Motrin the day he died.


Former state trooper faces murder charge  in teenager’s death

DETROIT (AP) — A former Michigan State Police trooper was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder in the death of a Detroit teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle after being shot with a stun gun.

Mark Bessner had no “legal justification” to fire his Taser from a moving patrol car while trying to stop Damon Grimes from driving an ATV on a city street, said Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy.

“He created a very high risk of death,” Worthy said, explaining the second-degree murder charge. “He may not have meant to kill him.”

Damon, 15, was driving an ATV at 35 to 40 mph when he crashed on Aug. 26. An autopsy revealed remnants of a stun gun were in the boy’s hair. He died from multiples injuries.

In August, lawyer Richard Convertino said Bessner made a split-second decision to use a Taser when Damon refused to stop. He quit the state police after the incident.

Besides murder, Bessner also is charged with involuntary manslaughter. Since the teen’s death, state police no longer conduct high-speed chases in Detroit unless they’re investigating a major crime.

State police spokesman Lt. Mike Shaw said, “We fully support” the charges.

“I want to apologize on behalf of my department, the Michigan State Police, to the Grimes family,” Shaw said. “We don’t teach this type of thing in our department. Bessner acted totally on his own.”
The teen’s family has filed a $50 million lawsuit.


Snyder signs bill with $23M to address  chemical contaminant

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a $52.8 million supplemental budget bill that includes money to respond to an emerging chemical contaminant found across Michigan.

The law enacted Wednesday allocates $23.2 million to address groundwater contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, at 28 sites in 14 communities. It’s recently drawn scrutiny north of Grand Rapids, where footwear company Wolverine World Wild dumped waste sludge decades ago.

The money will be used to hire people to analyze well water samples, buy lab equipment, help with response efforts and support local health departments. The law says federal reimbursement should be sought for costs incurred to address PFAS at multiple military sites around Michigan.


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