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State Briefs

By the associated press • Apr 11, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Nestle pledges free water for Flint through much of summer

FLINT (AP) — A bottled water company says it will keep free water flowing in Flint through August.

Nestle Waters North America produces the Ice Mountain brand in West Michigan. The company said Wednesday it will continue to send bottled water to distribution sites in Flint.

The effort started in May 2018 after then-Gov. Rick Snyder stopped supplying water. Nestle predicted Wednesday that more than 6.5 million bottles will have been donated by the end of August.

Mayor Karen Weaver said she's "grateful" for Nestle's help.

Flint's water quality has greatly improved since lead contaminated the system in 2014 and 2015, but tap filters are recommended, and some residents simply don't trust the water. Crews, meanwhile, are replacing lead or galvanized steel water lines throughout the city.

Woman charged after 2 dogs die in vehicle at Michigan casino

DOWAGIAC (AP) — Authorities said two dogs died and another was treated for severe dehydration after a woman left them in a vehicle for hours outside a casino in southwestern Michigan.

The Cass County Prosecutor's Office said Sherill Langford faces felony charges of torturing or killing an animal, as well as misdemeanor charges including lying to a police officer.

Online court records don't indicate whether Langford, who is from the Flint-area community of Davison, has a lawyer who could comment on her behalf. She's due in court April 17.

Prosecutors said the dogs were left in the vehicle Sunday outside Four Winds Casino in Dowagiac. Authorities responded after someone notified security.

Illinois dad and son charged in Michigan body parts probe

DETROIT (AP) — An Illinois man and his son have been charged in Michigan in an investigation of diseased body parts used for research and education.

Federal prosecutors said researchers paid to use cadavers without knowing they had tested positive for infectious diseases. The latest charges are related to an investigation of a Detroit-area man who was sentenced last year to nine years in prison.

Donald Greene Sr. is charged with wire fraud. His son, Donald Greene II, is charged with knowing about the scheme but failing to report it. They were associated with Biological Resource Center of Rosemont, Illinois, which provided the remains to medical professionals for a fee.

The charges were filed last week as a criminal information, which means a guilty plea is expected.

Woman sent to prison for abuse death of 14-month-old boy

JACKSON (AP) — A 25-year-old southern Michigan woman has been sentenced to 10-15 years in prison for the death of a 14-month-old boy she was caring for.

Amber Lynn Reeves of Jackson learned her punishment Wednesday after pleading guilty to manslaughter and child abuse in the Oct. 11, 2018, death of Logan Tracy from blunt-force abdominal trauma and complications. Reeves was dating the boy's father at the time.

Reeves apologized in court for killing Logan.

Reeves claimed the boy also was being abused by his father, but police and prosecutors said there's no evidence indicating anyone hurt Logan except Reeves.

Susan Ziegler, Logan's grandmother, said that for Reeves "to say she takes full responsibility and in the same breath accuses my son of abuse is despicable. She has shown no remorse."

Nothing reasonable about cop using Taser on teen, prosecutor says

DETROIT (AP) — A lawyer for a former Michigan state trooper is defending his decision to fire a Taser at a Detroit teenager who crashed aboard an all-terrain vehicle and died.

The trial opened Wednesday for Mark Bessner. He's charged with second-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes in 2017. It's the second trial after a jury last fall couldn't reach a unanimous verdict.

Bessner shot Grimes with a Taser from a moving patrol car as he and a partner pursued the boy at high speed. Defense attorney Richard Convertino told jurors they must find Bessner not guilty if they believe the officer was trying to protect himself.

Bessner says he believed Grimes was armed, but the teen had no weapon.

Prosecutor Matthew Penney told jurors there was nothing reasonable about firing a Taser for a routine traffic offense.

Michigan attorney general launches Conviction Integrity Unit

LANSING (AP) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has launched a unit to investigate whether people have been wrongfully convicted of crimes.

Nessel announced Wednesday the Conviction Integrity Unit plans to probe credible claims of innocence. The unit within the AG's Criminal Appellate Division also seeks to develop efforts to rectify wrongful convictions.

A release says the unit is modeled after one in Wayne County, and officials will work with county prosecutors, law enforcement officials, defense attorneys and innocence clinic projects.

The state unit will be led by Robyn Frankel, an attorney who has been an adjunct professor at Oakland University, University of Michigan and Detroit College of Law.

Nessel says in the release the state has "a duty" to make sure people are guilty of crimes for which they have been convicted.

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