Trooper can invoke the 5th at ex-partner's murder trial

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DETROIT (AP) - (4/16/19) - A judge says a Michigan State Police trooper can't be compelled to testify at the trial of his former partner who is charged with murder in the death of a Detroit teen.

Trooper Ethan Berger gave a deposition in a civil lawsuit about the death of Damon Grimes. But Judge Margaret Van Houten said Tuesday he still can invoke his constitutional right not to testify at Mark Bessner's criminal trial.

Bessner's lawyers want to call him as a witness.

Bessner is on trial, charged with second-degree murder. Grimes was 15 years old in 2017 when he crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died after Bessner shot him with a Taser on a Detroit street.

Prosecutors didn't charge Berger, who was driving the patrol car. State police tried to fire him, but an arbitrator said no.

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