Earlier today, Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway dismissed the involuntary manslaughter judge being brought against Detroit officer Joseph Weekley, who fatally shot 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones during a raid of her home,” the Associated Press reports. The accidental shooting occurred in 2010 while Weekley and other officers were searching the home for a murder suspect.
The decision was made after prosecutors presented their case against Weekley. Weekley’s defense attorney Steve Fishman argued that in order for Weekley’s actions to fall under the umbrella of involuntary manslaughter, the prosecution would have to prove that his client “intentionally created a danger that caused Aiyana’s death.” According to Fishman, they failed to do so, so he requested that the judge dismiss the manslaughter charge.
“There is absolutely no evidence, none, that’s in the least bit credible,” Fishman argued in court.
Judge Hathaway agreed and decided to dismiss the charge.
“I don’t see the evidence that (Weekley) willfully disregarded the results to others,” Hathaway said. “The entire trial has basically been about the carelessness of the defendant, based on his skills. If I am going to err, I’m going to err on the side of the defense.”
Weekley still faces a reckless discharge of a firearm charge, which is a misdemeanor. After Judge Hathaway announced her decision, the trial was halted to give the prosecution a chance to immediately appeal, which a spokesman says is definitely in the works. The trial for the reckless discharge of a firearm charge is set to resume Monday, October 6. This is Weekley’s second trial concerning this case after a jury last year was unable to reach a verdict.