Omaha, Neb. — A police expert on stun guns has told a jury that an Omaha police officer’s stun gun didn’t work properly during the officer’s attempts to control a mentally ill man.
Omaha Officer Dave Staskiewicz testified Monday at the trial of Scotty Payne, who is charged with felony assault in the June 5, 2017, death of 29-year-old Zachary Bearheels.
Staskiewicz says one of the two stun gun prongs attached to Bearheels came loose, so the gun didn’t work properly during most of Payne’s 12 trigger pulls. Staskiewicz says he questions only one of Payne’s trigger pulls: when Bearheels was seated on his rear end with his back against a police cruiser tire.
An autopsy says Bearheels suffered “sudden death associated with excited delirium” and says the death also was associated with physical struggle, restraint and use of a stun gun.