Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. EDT


Ex-trooper testifying about why he shot boy with Taser

DETROIT (AP) — A former Michigan state trooper charged with murder in the death of a Detroit boy is testifying in his own defense about why he fired a Taser at the 15-year-old.

Mark Bessner settled into the witness chair Thursday after prosecutors rested their case on the third day of trial. He told a judge he “very much” wanted to speak to jurors.

Bessner fired a Taser at Damon (Da-MAHN’) Grimes from his moving patrol car while the boy was driving an all-terrain vehicle at high speed on a Detroit street. Grimes crashed and died in August 2017.

Prosecutors say Bessner used unreasonable force on someone who wasn’t a threat. The defense claims Bessner believed Grimes had a gun. The boy wasn’t armed.

Bessner quit the state police after the incident.


The Latest: 6 fetal remains from funeral home identified

DETROIT (AP) — The remains of six fetuses hidden in the ceiling of a closed Detroit funeral home have been identified .

Police Chief James Craig said Thursday that identification tags attached to the remains or bags they were stored in led police to relatives. Investigators have spoken to parents connected to three of the fetuses.

Crews cleaning the old Cantrell Funeral Home on Oct. 12 discovered the remains of 10 fetuses and a still-born infant. The infant has not been identified. The state shut down Cantrell in April after finding 21 improperly stored bodies.

Detroit police are investigating the Cantrell remains. Craig says a task force that includes his department, state police and the FBI will start looking Monday into the Perry Funeral Home in Detroit where 63 fetuses were found last week.



Pence to campaign for James, Schuette in Grand Rapids Monday

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is coming back to Michigan to campaign for Republican candidates.

Pence, who has been in the state three times since the August primary, will headline a get-out-the-vote rally Monday in Grand Rapids with U.S. Senate candidate John James, gubernatorial nominee Bill Schuette and other candidates.

The event at the DeltaPlex Arena will be hosted by the Kent County Republican Party.

Pence’s visit will come three days after former President Barack Obama campaigns for Sen. Debbie Stabenow, gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer and other Democrats in Detroit.


Task force preparing to investigate Detroit funeral home

DETROIT (AP) — A police task force is preparing to investigate a Detroit funeral home where 36 fetuses where found in boxes and 27 others in freezers.

Police Chief James Craig says Thursday that the task force will include his officers, state police and the FBI. On Monday, it will start looking into operations at the Perry Funeral Home , where the fetuses were found Friday.

Meanwhile, Detroit police are continuing to investigate the defunct Cantrell Funeral Home where the remains of 10 fetuses and one infant were discovered in a ceiling Oct. 12. The state shut down Cantrell in April after finding 21 improperly stored bodies.

The investigations could focus on improper storage of remains and fraud.

The Associated Press left a message Thursday seeking comment from the Perry Funeral Home attorney.


Man fatally shot by Detroit police investigating assault

DETROIT (AP) — A 43-year-old man has died after being shot by two Detroit police officers investigating reports of an assault at a westside home.

Chief James Craig says Thursday that footage from the officers’ body cameras appears to show the man reaching for a holstered pistol after they told him not to move.

He was shot several times in the chest area Wednesday night and taken to a hospital where he later died. Craig says a gun was found a few feet from where the man was shot.

Craig says witnesses told investigators the man tried to stab someone inside the home and left. He then returned and pointed a weapon at a resident in the home before leaving again.

The two officers chased the man when he returned a third time.


County clerk pleads guilty to drunken driving on motorcycle

(Information from: The Daily News,

STANTON, Mich. (AP) — A county official in western Michigan who was named clerk of the year has pleaded guilty to drunken driving while on a motorcycle.

Kristen Millard of Montcalm County is recovering from injuries in the Sept. 8 crash. She was named clerk of the year in 2015 by the Michigan Association of County Clerks. Clerks oversee local elections and court records and handle many other duties.

The Daily News in Greenville reports that Millard pleaded guilty Wednesday. Prosecutor Richard Dubridge says her blood-alcohol level was around twice the legal limit.

Millard had been drinking at the Amble Roadhouse before she crashed her motorcycle. She says she had been using alcohol “inappropriately to cope with professional and personal stress.”

Separately, the prosecutor is dropping an unrelated larceny case . Millard was accused of stealing eyeglasses from a bar last summer. She denies it.



More contamination confirmed at former Buick City site

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Officials say the sale of remaining portions of a massive former manufacturing site in Flint, Michigan, are on hold after another kind of chemical contamination was confirmed.

The Flint Journal reports the update comes after toxins known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS , were found at Buick City, where Detroit-based General Motors once built cars.

Bruce Rasher, redevelopment manager for the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust, says it’s continuing to market the property but won’t close on a sale “until we have a deeper understanding of PFAS impacts at the site” and come up with a “comprehensive remedial strategy.”

Most of Buick City closed in 1999, creating one of Michigan’s largest brownfield sites.

Portions have already been redeveloped and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been overseeing cleanup.


Ford recalls nearly 1.3M Focuses because engines can stall

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling nearly 1.3 million Focus compact cars in the U.S. because a fuel system problem can cause the engines to stall without warning.

The recall covers cars from 2012 through 2018 with 2-liter four-cylinder engines.

Ford says a valve can stick open, causing too much vacuum, and an engine control computer may not detect the problem. Excessive vacuum can cause engines to stall and the gas tank to deform.

The recall came after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration presented owner complaints to Ford.

Ford says owners should keep the gas tank at least half full until repairs are made. Dealers will reprogram the computer and replace the valve if needed starting Dec. 10.

Ford says it’s not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the problem.


Judge: Use force if necessary to bring stabber to court

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A judge has ordered federal marshals to use a “minimum amount of force” if necessary to bring a man to court for a final hearing before he stands trial in the stabbing of a Flint airport police officer.

Amor Ftouhi (ah-MOOR’ fuh-TOO’-ee) declined to leave his cell to attend a previous hearing in Flint federal court. He’s due in court again Thursday to discuss the Nov. 5 trial.

Ftouhi is charged with committing an act of violence at an airport and interfering with security. The native of Tunisia lives in Montreal .

He’s accused of stabbing Lt. Jeff Neville while yelling “Allahu Akbar ,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great.” Neville survived the June 2017 attack.


Recent Michigan candidate charged over campaign literature

(Information from: The Ann Arbor News,

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A recent candidate for Michigan Senate is facing a misdemeanor charge related to campaign literature that prosecutors say falsely identified her as the incumbent.

The Ann Arbor News reports Anuja Rajendra of Ann Arbor, who lost a four-way Democratic primary race in August, is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 13 on the charge that’s listed in court records as “wrongful use” of “incumbency designation.”

Michael Steinberg, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, said the ACLU is defending Rajendra and will seek to have the charge dismissed. He says she “never intended to convey that she was an incumbent” and it’s “disturbing” she’s facing a charge punishable by up to 90 days in jail.

The Washtenaw County prosecutor’s office isn’t elaborating on details of the charge.