Grandmother's account of police shooting heard at trial

June 10, 2013 at 5:26 PM
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DETROIT, June 10 (UPI) -- A Detroit grandmother testified at a police officer's trial he intentionally shot her granddaughter in the head during a SWAT team raid at her home in 2010.

Martilla Jones testified Monday, tearfully recalling the early morning of May 16, 2010, when Detroit police broke down the door to her home in search of suspects in a slaying two days earlier.

Jones, 50, said she was on the couch in her living room next to her granddaughter, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7, who was asleep when police barged in.

Detroit police officer Joseph Weekely was the first officer through the door after a flash grenade was thrown into the residence. The Detroit Free Press said it is the actions in the seconds between the grenade going off and Weekely shooting the girl that are at the center of the case.

Prosecutors charge Weekely recklessly shot the girl while Weekely's defense team maintains he is a good officer caught in a difficult situation, contending Aiyana's death was a "tragic accident."

During direct examination Monday Jones said Weekely came through the door with his gun level to the couch where her granddaughter was sleeping and shot her.

Weekely's defense team questioned Jones because that account differs from her accounting the night of the shooting when she said police opened fire from outside the home and shot through her front window, the Detroit News said. Under cross-examination Jones said she did not recall describing the incident that way previously.

Weekely is charged with manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm. Prosecutors have said they do not believe Weekely fired his weapon with malice, but acted dangerously during the raid.

Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Moran previously said the evidence "is not going to show that he intended to murder her; the evidence is going to show that he was grossly negligent."

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