Judge drops final charge against Detroit cop who killed child, says she'll be 'scapegoat'

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From left, Joseph Weekley and his attorney Steve Fishman sit at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. At the prosecutor's request, a judge dismissed the last charge against Weekley, a Detroit police officer who fatally shot a 7-year-old girl during a raid. Two trials against Weekley ended without verdicts on a charge of reckless use of a gun. Weekley shot Aiyana Stanley-Jones as she slept on a couch in a Detroit home in 2010. It occurred during a frenzied raid by elite officers who burst through the door to search for a murder suspect after throwing a flash grenade to confuse anyone inside. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT


Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway address the court at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. At the prosecutor's request, a Hathaway dismissed the last charge against Joseph Weekley, a Detroit police officer who fatally shot a 7-year-old girl during a raid. Two trials against Weekley ended without verdicts on a charge of reckless use of a gun. Weekley shot Aiyana Stanley-Jones as she slept on a couch in a Detroit home in 2010. It occurred during a frenzied raid by elite officers who burst through the door to search for a murder suspect after throwing a flash grenade to confuse anyone inside. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT


Ron Scott, a member of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality and a spokesman for Aiyana's family speaks outside the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. At the prosecutor's request, a Hathaway dismissed the last charge against Joseph Weekley, a Detroit police officer who fatally shot a 7-year-old girl during a raid. Two trials against Weekley ended without verdicts on a charge of reckless use of a gun. Weekley shot Aiyana Stanley-Jones as she slept on a couch in a Detroit home in 2010. It occurred during a frenzied raid by elite officers who burst through the door to search for a murder suspect after throwing a flash grenade to confuse anyone inside. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT


FILE-In this May 18, 2010 photo, Dominika Stanley, left, mother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones sits with Charles Jones, father of Aiyana Jones as they listen to attorney Geoffrey Fieger (not pictured) announce state and federal lawsuits on behalf of the family of Aiyana Stanley-Jones in Detroit. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said her office told Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ family Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 that she will move to dismiss the case against Joseph Weekley. Aiyana was shot in the head while she slept in May 2010. The shooting was not considered intentional.(AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Mandi Wright) DETROIT NEWS OUT; NO SALES; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT


FILE - In this June 18, 2013 file photo, Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley stands in Judge Cynthia Hathaway's courtroom at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said her office told Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ family Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 that she will move to dismiss the case against Weekley. Aiyana was shot in the head while she slept in May 2010. The shooting was not considered intentional. (AP Photo/The Detroit News, John T. Greilick) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT


DETROIT — At the prosecutor's request, a judge on Friday dismissed the last charge against a Detroit police officer who fatally shot a 7-year-old girl during a raid and said she's willing to be the "scapegoat" if critics don't like the result.

Two trials against Joseph Weekley ended without verdicts on a charge of reckless use of a gun. During the second trial, Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway dismissed the most serious charge, involuntary manslaughter, saying there was insufficient evidence.

Weekley shot Aiyana Stanley-Jones as she slept on a couch in a Detroit home in 2010. It occurred during a frenzied raid by elite officers who burst through the door to search for a murder suspect after throwing a flash grenade to confuse anyone inside. A reality TV crew recorded the scene from the street.

Weekley insisted he accidentally pulled the trigger during a struggle with Aiyana's grandmother. She denied grabbing the weapon.

Assistant prosecutor Rob Moran told the judge that the misdemeanor was being dropped in the "best interests of justice." He didn't elaborate.

Hathaway emphasized that two juries, in 2013 and 2014, couldn't reach a unanimous verdict.

"It isn't the judge's decisions that caused these juries to not reach a decision," she said. "But I can tell you this: If anyone is looking for a scapegoat for justice, then you've got one here as owner, coach and quarterback. ... If someone needs a scapegoat for what's happening here — and what's happening here is justice — then put it on me."

Weekley left the courtroom through a private door. Defense attorney Steve Fishman said prosecutors were courageous by closing the case.

Outside court, a spokesman for Aiyana's family criticized the judge for her comments.

"She's not a scapegoat. She's irresponsible," said Ron Scott, referring to Hathaway's decision to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charge before a jury at the second trial could consider it.


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