Police Abuse

Prosecutors: Not Enough Evidence Cops Who Shot Unarmed Man 16 Times As He Lay In Bed Acted With 'Malice'

A judge recently ruled the Washington man's lawsuit could move forward, but prosecutors say they aren't impressed by the evidence.


KING5 screencap

Four years ago cops from the King's County Sheriff's Office and the state Department of Corrections (DOC) in Washington busted into the home of Dustin Theoharis and shot the unarmed man 16 times as he lay in bed. Theoharis had at least a dozen surgeries but survived. He sued the county, settling for $3 million, and has also sued the DOC.

Both the county and the department have ruled the shootings justified, despite the lack of a firearm and the fact that the two cops shot a man 16 times as he lay in bed. Earlier this month a judge ruled Theoharis' excessive force lawsuit against the DOC could move forward, citing the cops' questionable testimony (they didn't provide a statement for weeks after the shooting).

But that's not enough for county prosecutors, who when they declined three years ago to charge the two officers, in part because they said the officers wouldn't give them statements, said they would review the decision if new information came out. Via The Seattle Times:

On Friday, the Prosecutor's Office released this statement:

"We have reviewed the depositions and other documents from the civil case, including the recent ruling from the Federal court presiding over the civil lawsuit. We did not find any new information that would change our legal analysis.

"There remains insufficient evidence that the officers were acting with malice or in bad faith when they used deadly force," the statement added. "The State would not be able to disprove the justifiable use of deadly force beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, we are unable to file criminal charges. "

Both officers appear to remain employed with their respective agencies, while according to his attorney Theoharis, a mechanic, is still recovering from his injuries and unable to work.