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National Briefing / LOUISIANA

Ex-officer indicted in Taser death

August 14, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A former police officer accused of repeatedly jolting a handcuffed man with a Taser before he died was indicted on a manslaughter charge. The Winn Parish grand jury also indicted former Winnfield police officer Scott Nugent on a charge of malfeasance in office stemming from the Jan. 17 death of Baron Pikes, 21.

Pikes was shocked nine times with a 50,000-volt Taser as he was arrested on a drug possession warrant, authorities said. Winn Parish Dist. Atty. Chris Nevils said Nugent broke the law when he "unnecessarily" used the Taser on Pikes multiple times and failed to get him medical attention "when it was apparent he needed it."

Nugent, who is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 21, faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the manslaughter charge. The malfeasance charge carries a maximum of five years in prison.

Nugent was fired but is appealing his dismissal. Phillip Terrell, Nugent's lawyer, contends that his client followed department protocols and didn't use excessive force.

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