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State trooper who struck and killed Samuel Sterling with car charged with murder

Attorney General Dana Nessel
Rick Pluta
Attorney General Dana Nessel

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed charges Tuesday against the Michigan State Trooper who struck and killed 25-year-old Samuel Sterling of Kentwood with an unmarked police car

Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant Brian Keely was charged with one count of Second-Degree Murder, which carries a life sentence, and one count of Involuntary Manslaughter, a fifteen-year felony.

50-year-old Keely was part of an MSP Sixth District Fugitive Task Force attempting to bring Sterling into custody on numerous felony warrants in Kentwood on April 17th. When authorities approached, Sterling fled on foot. Several troopers and agents chased Sterling both in vehicles and on foot. Keely struck Sterling in a fast-food parking lot while driving an unmarked police cruiser. Sterling was transported to the hospital, but later died from his injuries.

In a statement, AG Nessel said that Sergeant Keely’s actions that day were grossly negligent and created a high risk of death or great bodily harm, which could have been prevented.

Keely will be arraigned in Kentwood District Court.

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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