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Prosecutor clears deputy in eighth-grader's deathSubmitted: 01/19/2018
Story By Newswatch 12 Team

Prosecutor clears deputy in eighth-grader's death
ASHLAND - The death of a teen carrying a butcher knife who was shot by an Ashland County Sheriff's Deputy led to a march, rallies, and community discussions about police relations.

Friday, a special prosecutor cleared the deputy in that shooting.

Ashland County Sheriff's Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich shot and killed Jason Pero, 14, in November.

Police believe Pero wanted to die.

In a 911 call, the teen was the one who told police someone was walking around with a knife that day. Pero described a a guy walking around outside his house with a knife. The man was wearing a purple sweatshirt. 

Investigators said the deputy saw Pero walking around with a knife outside his house on the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reservation and fired after the boy lunged at him.

Photos of from the search warrant show a note saying, "I love you all. Sorry. Stay happy. Love, Jason."

Ashland County District Attorney Michael Nieskes said in a letter Friday to the state Justice Department and Sheriff Mick Brennan that the shooting was justified.

Nieskes also said an autopsy showed Pero had fentanyl, an opioid pain medication, in his system and a number of apparently self-inflicted cuts on his arms.

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