Posted: Jan 11, 2012 7:32 AM
Updated: Jan 11, 2012 7:32 AM
Source: Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal appeals court has rejected claims that St. Martin Parish sheriff's deputies used excessive force on a fleeing suspect who died after he was shocked with a stun gun.
A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the deputies are entitled to immunity from claims filed by relatives of 23-year-old Othello Pierre, of St. Martinville.
The panel, which reversed a ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Haik, said the deputies' actions were "objectively reasonable."
In 2008, Pierre was attending a Fourth of July party at his uncle's house when he started arguing with a cousin. Pierre fled when deputies tried to arrest him on a warrant.
He died about an hour after one of the deputies subdued him with a Taser.