Defense Rests In Md. Taser Death Trial
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A Frederick County sheriff’s deputy faces a multi-million dollar lawsuit after a deadly Taser incident. His attorney wrapped up their defense in federal court Monday.
Adam May has the latest in the case, which is being closely watched by the law enforcement community.
The jury has now heard all the evidence in this wrongful death lawsuit. They have to decide if the deputy used the Taser appropriately.
Frederick County Corporal Rudy Torres walked out of federal court after jurors heard the last of his defense in a $145 million wrongful death lawsuit.
Back in 2007, Torres fired a Taser twice at Jarrel Gray, leaving the 20-year-old dead in the street.
The incident started when people in the Frederick neighborhood heard a fight.
“It looked they were serious, pushing each other… They were very loud and I called 911,” witness Joyce Fitzgerald testified.
In court, neighbor Roberto Rodriguez told jurors, “I heard a voice say ‘Get on the ground. Get on ground,’ and then I heard a pop noise, which I recognized as a Taser.”
Gray’s family contends the deputy had no reason to fire the weapon. Another eyewitness told jurors and WJZ that Gray was complying both physically and verbally.
“‘My hands are on the ground, officer. My hands are on the ground. My hands are on the ground officer,’ and they tasered him,” one witness recalled.
Gray fell to ground silent after the first shock– unresponsive to the deputy’s commands.
Law enforcement expert Robert Thomas, who was paid by the defense, told jurors it could have been an act.
“Mr. Gray presented a threat for the first tasing and presented a threat for the second tasing,” Thomas said.
Closing arguments begin Tuesday morning and are expected to take three hours.
More than 10 Marylanders have died in Taser-related incidents.