WEST PALM BEACH - Attorneys will return to court on Oct. 10 to again try to get a verdict in a case accusing Palm Beach County sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Custer of using excessive force in the May 2012 shooting death of 24-year-old Loxahatchee Groves resident Seth Adams, a federal judge decided Thursday.
Still reeling from a jury’s failure to reach a unanimous verdict after a month-long trial wrapped up two weeks ago, Adams’ parents said they are ready to try the case again.
“This is my life,” Lydia Adams said, tears welling in her eyes as she recalled that April 29 would be her son’s 29th birthday. “I’m going to see it through to the end.”
But her husband, Richard Adams, said the delay will be difficult. “It’s been five years already,” he said. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow.”
Jurors told U.S. District Judge Daniel Hurley they voted 8-1 that Custer intentionally destroyed his cell phone to hide incriminating evidence. But, they said, they deadlocked 7-2 on whether he used excessive force when he shot Adams outside the family-owned A One Stop Garden Shop, where the young man lived and worked.
Later, however, the Adamses’ attorney, Wallace McCall, said three jurors told him privately there was only one holdout.
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