Political News

The Latest: Parents of man killed by deputy to press lawsuit

Posted March 15

— The Latest on the mistrial declared in the federal lawsuit filed by the parents of an unarmed nurseryman who was fatally shot by a Florida sheriff's deputy (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

The parents of an unarmed nurseryman fatally shot by a Florida sheriff's deputy said they will retry their federal lawsuit after a jury hung after a month-long trial.

Dick and Lydia Adams said Wednesday they are fighting to preserve the reputation of their 24-year-old son, Seth Adams, who was shot by Palm Beach County Sgt. Michael Custer.

Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley in West Palm Beach declared a mistrial after the five-man, four-woman panel said they could not reach a unanimous decision. Jurors told Hurley they had voted 7-2 in favor of the Adamses.

Custer shot Seth Adams on May 16, 2012, in the parking lot of the nursery where he lived and worked.

Custer testified that Adams cursed him and grabbed him by the throat before rummaging through his truck's cab as if seeking a weapon. He said he fired when Adams spun toward him.

The family's attorneys argued the physical evidence disproved Custer's testimony.

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2:30 p.m.

A mistrial has been declared after a federal civil jury said it cannot decide whether a Florida sheriff's deputy was justified when he fatally shot an unarmed nurseryman.

Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley in West Palm Beach declared a mistrial Wednesday. The five-man, four-woman panel had deliberated more than 12 hours over three days.

There was no dispute that Palm Beach County Sgt. Michael Custer shot Seth Adams on May 16, 2012, in the parking lot of the nursery where the 24-year-old lived and worked.

Custer testified that Adams cursed him and grabbed him by the throat before rummaging through his truck's cab as if seeking a weapon. He said he fired when Adams spun toward him.

The Adams family's attorneys argued the physical evidence disproved Custer's testimony.

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