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Medical examiner questions Sgt. Michael Custer's version of Seth Adams shooting

Posted at 2:48 PM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-27 12:09:33-04

A Palm Beach County medical examiner is raising questions about the police-involved shooting that killed Seth Adams in 2012.

According to our news partners at The Palm Beach Post, Medical Examiner Gertrude Juste told a federal jury Thursday that Seth Adams' gunshot wounds would have started bleeding immediately.

Adams was shot twice in the chest, and once in the forearm.

According to the Post, Juste testified that if Seth Adams was shot as he spun out of the cab of his pickup truck, as PBSO Sgt. Michael Custer, the man who shot him, claims, Adams' blood would have been found in and near the open door.

But a blood trail was found 8 to 10 feet away, while no blood was found in the cab, or on the door of Adams' truck.

Attorneys for Custer claim Adams attacked him.

The Adamses are suing Custer and PBSO, for excessive force. 


Wednesday’s witness testimony began with former detective Christopher Neumann, now a PBSO tact unit agent. Neumann was the lead detective in charge of the investigation into Seth Adams’ death.

The Adams' attorney, Wallace McCall, grilled Neumann, asking how he could determine Custer's version of events were true based on the physical evidence. Neumann repeated several times that it was not “my job to reconcile, make any decision about truth or lying, justified or unjustified force.”

His job, he said, was only to gather evidence and present it to the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office. They declined to press criminal charges.

Neumann was also asked about Custer's cell phone. Custer's cell phone was photographed that night in the back of his car, the cell phone clip photographed in the parking lot. The cell phone was never taken in as evidence that night. One month later, Custer was asked to turn in his cell phone. It disappeared.

McCall showed Neumann an email chain he was a part of in June 2012. In the chain, Neumann tells his commanding officer Sergeant McAfee, that paramedics he interviewed said deputies hadn't blocked them from giving Adams' medical help. Another deputy forward the email to McAfee, to which he replies, "Perfect. That's how we roll. Now get my evil plan started."

Neuman testified that he didn’t know what McAfee was referring to as “an evil plan.”