March 15, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A mistrial has been declared after a federal civil jury said it cannot decide whether a Florida sheriff's deputy was justified when he fatally shot an unarmed nurseryman.

Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley in West Palm Beach declared a mistrial Wednesday. The five-man, four-woman panel had deliberated more than 12 hours over three days.

There was no dispute that Palm Beach County Sgt. Michael Custer shot Seth Adams on May 16, 2012, in the parking lot of the nursery where the 24-year-old lived and worked.

Custer testified that Adams cursed him and grabbed him by the throat before rummaging through his truck's cab as if seeking a weapon. He said he fired when Adams spun toward him.

The Adams family's attorneys argued the physical evidence disproved Custer's testimony.

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