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Published on May 29, 2024
Michigan State Trooper Charged with Second-Degree Murder in Kentwood Man's Death After Police PursuitSource: Google Street View

A Michigan State Police trooper is facing serious charges for the death of a man following a police pursuit last month. The trooper, Detective Sgt. Brian Keely, 50, of Grand Rapids, was charged on May 28th with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of 25-year-old Samuel Sterling, of Kentwood, according to CBS Detroit.

Sterling was struck by Keely's unmarked vehicle during an attempted arrest by members of the MSP Sixth District Fugitive Task Force; Keely was a part of, on April 14, 2024. In a released video, Attorney General Dana Nessel specified that, "We have found that Detective Sgt. Keely's actions that day were legally, grossly negligent and created a very high risk of death or great bodily harm, which could have otherwise been prevented." Keely is awaiting arraignment in the 62-B District Court in Kentwood.

According to the Michigan Department of Attorney General, the incident occurred when Samuel Sterling fled on foot as law enforcement tried to take him into custody. Sterling was subsequently hit by Keely's vehicle in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant. He suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead later at the University of Michigan Metro Health Hospital.

AG Nessel referenced the gravity of the situation and Keely's responsibility, stating, “Public integrity is a top priority for my Department and we remain committed to providing a thorough, and just review and resolution in each case brought before us.” The exact date for Keely's arraignment has not been scheduled, but the charges laid before him could result in a life sentence for the second-degree murder count or alternatively, a fifteen-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter.