WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the federal trial in the lawsuit against a Florida sheriff's sergeant for shooting an unarmed man(all times local):
A Florida sheriff's sergeant told a federal jury that he was so terrified for his life his wife's face passed before his eyes just before he fatally shot an unarmed nurseryman he had been brawling with.
Palm Beach County Sgt. Michael Custer told the federal civil jury Wednesday that 24-year-old Seth Adams had run back to his pickup truck and rummaged through the cab like he was retrieving a weapon. He said Adams ignored his warning that he would shoot and fought off his effort to pull him away from the truck.
He said that he fired four shots in quick succession after Adams spun toward him and cursed him, fearing he was about to be shot or otherwise injured.
Adams' parents are suing Custer and the sheriff's office for unspecified millions, alleging the shooting was unjustified. Their attorneys say the physical evidence doesn't match Custer's story.
A Florida sheriff's sergeant told a federal jury an unarmed nurseryman tried to choke him and fought him, setting off a chain of events that quickly led to him fatally shooting the man.
Palm Beach County Sgt. Michael Custer told the federal civil jury Wednesday that Seth Adams grabbed him by the neck and refused to comply with his orders to get on the ground. Custer is expected to go into specific detail about the May 2012 shooting later Wednesday. Adams' parents are suing Custer and the sheriff's office for unspecified millions, alleging the shooting was unjustified.
Outside the jury's presence, U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley blasted the sheriff's office's investigation of the shooting as "slipshod." The sheriff's office declined immediate comment.