DETROIT — A judge has dismissed a second-degree murder charge against a motorist in the hit-and-run killing of a Detroit police officer, ordering the suspect instead to stand trial for reckless driving causing death.
The Wayne County prosecutor's office said Tuesday that 19-year-old Jonathan Cole also faces a charge for failure to stop at the scene of an accident.
Cole is accused of hitting Fadi Shukur Aug. 4 as the officer helped to disperse a crowd after a party. Shukur died days later of his injuries.
Judge Kenneth King ruled Friday in the 36th District Court that the only aggravating factor present in the case was speed, and concluded there was insufficient evidence to bond Cole over on a second-degree murder charge.
King told The Detroit News Tuesday that, in his experience, "there has to be more than one circumstance involved."
"The only thing the (prosecution) was able to show is that he may have been speeding, and even the speeding wasn't extremely excessive," King said.
He added that in a second-degree murder case "the intent that has to be shown is either an intent to kill, or a wanton and willful disregard for human life, which normally entails more than one aggravating circumstance."
The prosecutor's office says it will try to reinstate the murder charge.
Cole of Belleville is expected to be arraigned Friday in circuit court.