February 08, 2017


WEST PALM BEACH — When Lydia Adams rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center nearly five years ago after learning her son, Seth, had been shot by a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy, she didn’t know he was dead.

Seeing his bare, blood-covered body on a gurney, she ran to him. Instantly, she says, she was grabbed by a sheriff’s crime scene investigator and thrown to the floor.

“Get away. He’s evidence,” her attorney Wallace McCall said the investigator told Adams.

While the account is disturbing and possibly damning for the sheriff’s office, a federal judge on Wednesday ruled that a jury will hear about it when a multi-million-dollar wrongful death lawsuit that Adams’ parents filed against the department and sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Custer goes to trial next week.

“It’s just a horrible, horrible aftermath to what was a tragedy to begin with,” said U.S. District Judge Daniel Hurley.

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