Family calls Dontrell Stephens trial difficult

Posted at 10:38 PM, Feb 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-01 22:38:03-05

Dontrell Stephens family members say the civil federal trial that went into day six on Monday has been difficult and painful.

"It is difficult to see the emotional pain this brings to him. It is difficult to sit in the courtroom with the officer who nearly killed him. And it is worrisome because we don't know what the outcome will be," Stephens aunt Karen Stephens said.

Dontrell Stephens is suing the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and Sergeant Adams Lin.

Lin shot and paralyzed Stephens in 2013.

Lin says Stephens committed a bike violation. When he tried to stop Stephens, he says he didn't comply and reached for something in his waist band.

That's when Lin says he feared for his life and shot Stephens four times.

But Stephens says he complied with all of Lin's commands and was shot while he had his hands up.

His attorney says he has millions of dollars in medical expenses related to the shooting.

"In order to get on with his life in any productive way he is going to need some funds to do that. Basically there is the need for care. He needs treatment. He needs therapy," Karen Stephens said.

Testimony is expected to continue on Tuesday and the trial could wrap up Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday.

The jury will decide if the deputy and the Sheriff's Office should pay Stephens.

The State Attorney's Office has already cleared Lin on criminal charges.

The Sheriff's Office also says he did not break any department policies.