Jones had just gotten her granddaughter, 7-year-old Aiyana
Stanley-Jones to sleep when a stun gun smashed through her East Detroit
apartment's window, and exploded on the other side of the couch she was
Aiyana was sleeping on one end of the couch, and
Jones was on the other. A few seconds later armed, black-clad and masked
police officers stormed the apartment.
Things got worse when Jones saw that her granddaughter was bleeding from a gunshot wound to her head.
'As soon as they came in, their guns were just pointing right there,
and he pulled the trigger,' Aiyana's grandmother, Mertilla Jones said
Monday of Joseph Weekley during the Detroit police officer's involuntary
manslaughter trial in Wayne County Circuit Court.
seen the light leave out of her eyes and the blood started gushing out
her mouth and she was dead,' testified the 50-year-old Jones, who then
broke into tears.
For members of the Detroit police
special response team, the May 2010 nighttime raid on the two-family
flat on Lillibridge was one of hundreds they had taken part in as a
unit. This time they were being shadowed by a crew from the reality TV
show, 'The First 48.'
Armed with an MP5 submachine gun
and behind a shield, team veteran Weekley was selected as point man for
the operation - tasked with being first into the home in search of
murder suspect, Chauncey Owens..
Weekley has said his gun
accidentally fired when Mertilla Jones bumped into him or grabbed it.
Prosecutors say he was negligent in failing to control his weapon.
Jones testified she rolled onto the floor after the noise and flash
from the grenade, and was on her stomach when Weekley stormed in.
She said Aiyana's head was propped against the armrest of the couch as
she slept and Weekley was holding the gun right next to the armrest when
his weapon discharged.
'The gun went off and shot her in the
head. I started screaming and hollering. ... "Y'all done killed my
grandbaby,"' Jones told the courtroom.
Special response team
member Larry Davis testified Monday that Weekley told him after the
shooting that someone grabbed his weapon.
'I told him things would be OK. That's about it,' Davis said..
Last week, a neighbor testified that he tried to tell officers before
they raided the home that children were inside. Under cross-examination
Monday, Jones said the officers were negligent.
there were children in there. So why would they come in there like that?
They came to kill, and they killed a 7-year-old.'
Davis, the officer who tossed the stun grenade, said the team was unaware children were inside.
When asked by prosecutors if knowing children were in the house would
have forced police to change raid tactics, Davis responded: 'Probably
It was Owens they were after. Two days before the raid
17-year-old Je'rean Blake was standing outside a neighborhood
convenience store when he was shot to death following a dispute..
Mertilla Jones testified that Owens lived in the upper unit with her
daughter, LaKrystal Sanders. Police found Owens in the upstairs flat and
he was arrested.
Owens pleaded guilty in April 2011 to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 28 years in prison for Blake's slaying.