February 15, 2017

Agent Kevin Drummond first witness in wrongful death trial

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Jurors in the federal civil wrongful death trial against Sgt. Michael Custer watched more of his videotaped deposition Tuesday before the trial’s first witness took the stand.

Custer described during the deposition how the night of May 16, 2012 as he was parked doing an undercover stakeout, Seth Adams, 24, drove onto Adam’s family nursery property and immediately got out of his truck and began cursing and shouting at Custer, demanding to know what he was doing there.

“My perspective and my perception was that he was a lunatic,” Custer said.

Custer said he tried to identify himself and calm down Adams, but Adams continued his threatening behavior and the situation escalated rapidly.

Custer said Adams walked toward him rapidly and grabbed him by the throat – an altercation that ended moments later with Custer pulling his gun, ordering Adams to the ground, and eventually shooting him when he thought Adams was going for a gun in his truck.

Adams’ family attorneys called their first witness – a fellow member of Custer’s Sheriff’s Office tactical team – Agent Kevin Drummond.

Drummond testified he was supposed to be staked out on B Rd in Loxahatchee, near where Custer was parked on A Rd.

But Drummond drove west past B Rd, and in order to make a U-turn, said he pulled onto A Rd, where his headlights swept through the parking lot of A One Stop Garden Shop.

Drummond said he saw Adams standing near the front driver’s side quarter panel of his truck, looking east toward his family nursery, as Custer was getting out of his car. He said it looked as though some noise made Adams turn and look back toward Custer’s direction.

Drummond said he saw no cause for concern, and continued on his way back to B Road.

“Did you see this male approach Sgt. Custer in a rapid, threatening manner?” asked attorney Stephan LeClainche.

“No,” answered Drummond.

“Did you see anything that gave you a bit of concern that Sgt. Custer's safety was in jeopardy?” LeClainche continued.

Drummond answered: “No, I did not.”

Drummond also testified that as he was turning onto B Rd, he heard another of their team come on the radio and warn “Heads up, I just heard gunshots.”

The full article can be viewed here.