State Supreme Court tosses GR murder conviction

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Supreme Court has thrown out a murder conviction in a 2013 Grand Rapids shooting death.

Jamal Bennett’s case is being sent back to Kent County Circuit Court.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker told News 8 that his office was planning to retry the case, though he still needed to review the evidence and speak with the victim’s family.

The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that the admission of rap videos featuring Bennett undermined the verdict by slanting the jury’s opinion of Bennett, painting him as “ruthless and menacing.”

In March 2013, authorities say, some uninvited guests showed up to a birthday party in Grand Rapids, at which point there was a fight. Bennett shot two people, killing Derecko Martin and injuring a second man. Bennett was charged with murder in December 2014 and ultimately convicted of second-degree murder.

Bennett has claimed self-defense, saying Martin and a friend were beating one of Bennett’s friends when the shots were fired.

[embedded content]