Opening statements in civil trial of PBSO, deputy stemming from fatal shooting

Posted at 9:45 AM, Feb 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-14 15:23:06-05

Opening statements began Tuesday in the civil trial against a deputy and Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Richard and Lydia Adams are suing Sgt. Michael Custer and PBSO.

24-year-old Seth Adams was killed in the parking lot of the family-owned garden shop in Loxahatchee.

Wallace McCall, the attorney representing Seth's parents, says he intends to prove Sgt. Custer lied about what happened to Seth.

He says a fellow deputy will testify he did not see any confrontation between Adams and Custer, and that blood splatter and shell casings will also show Adams was not shot where Custer says he was.

McCall says deputies will testify Custer did not call for backup until after shots were fired, and that he knew Adams was not armed.

The jury will have to decide whether the shooting was reasonable and justified.

The defense told the jury that the evidence is anything but absolute.

They say Adams is the one who took the situation from "0 to 60," and absolutely grabbed Custer by the throat. They say Custer was in fear for his life.