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Charges Filed against Trooper in Samuel Sterling Death

LANSING Today, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed charges against Michigan State Police (MSP) Detective Sergeant (D/Sgt) Brian Keely, 50, Grand Rapids, for the death of Samuel Sterling, 25, Kentwood. MSP referred the matter to the Department of Attorney General for review on May 10, 2024.

Keely was charged with:

  • One count – Murder, Second Degree, a life offense, or alternatively,
  • One count – Involuntary Manslaughter, a fifteen-year felony.

In a video announcing the charges, AG Nessel said that following a comprehensive review of the evidence, the Department believes that “Detective Sergeant 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.”

Shortly before noon on April 17, 2024, Michigan State Police D/Sgt Keely, as part of the MSP Sixth District Fugitive Task Force attempted to bring Samuel Sterling into custody when Sterling fled by foot. A number of MSP troopers and other local law enforcement agents proceeded to chase Sterling, both in their vehicles and by foot, when the unmarked vehicle D/Sgt Keely was driving turned and struck Sterling in a nearby fast-food restaurant parking lot. Sterling was transported to the University of Michigan Metro Health Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries later that day.

“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,” said Nessel.

D/Sgt Keely will be arraigned in the 62-B District Court in Kentwood, the arraignment has not yet been scheduled.


Please note: For all criminal proceedings, a criminal charge is merely an allegation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Department does not provide booking photos.

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