Sunday, May 08, 2016

Sheriff Shoar Sued Over Nurse Shooting Death: Andrea Sheldon's Widower, Mr. Richard Sheldon, Sues in Federal Court

This was likely a criminally negligent homicide by police and should have been taken before a grand jury. Louche State's Attorney R.J. LARIZZA was just re-elected, no one having filed to run against him. He was elected ab initio with police support, running against a State's Attorney who belatedly discovered police abuses when his daughter was mistreated by Flagler County Sheriff's Office. Let justice be done. Now.

Man sues St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, deputies over wife’s 2012 shooting death

Posted: May 7, 2016 - 11:03pm  |  Updated: May 8, 2016 - 2:46am

THE SHELDON FAMILY Richard and Andrea Sheldon, in a photograph from his Facebook page.  Dan Scanlan
THE SHELDON FAMILY Richard and Andrea Sheldon, in a photograph from his Facebook page. Dan Scanlan

A man whose wife was shot and killed by St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies in 2012 has filed a lawsuit in federal court against six deputies, Sheriff David Shoar, the Sheriff’s Office and St. Johns County.

The complaint and demand for a jury trial, filed in mid-April in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida by attorneys for Richard Sheldon, levels a number of allegations, including civil rights violations, “municipal liability for constitutional violations,” battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and “loss of consortium” in the killing of Andrea Sheldon.

Richard Sheldon is seeking unspecified monetary damages, attorney’s fees and costs, according to the complaint.

Andrea Sheldon, a hospice nurse, was killed the night of April 14, 2012, on the front porch of her home in the 2900 block of County Road 214.

According to previous reports, deputies went to the home in response to a possible domestic dispute reported by a commander with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, where Richard Sheldon worked as a paramedic. That person reported that Richard Sheldon had called him and was upset and had told him he had been in a fight with his wife and that she had chased him with a gun and he was hiding in the woods.

According to the complaint, Richard Sheldon had left the home and built a campfire and campsite in the woods about five miles from his house.

In a memo from Shoar, released shortly after the shooting, he said deputies responded to the area in an effort to both locate Richard Sheldon — who was believed to be armed and intoxicated — and check on his wife at their home.

In the memo, Shoar said that when deputies approached the home, Andrea Sheldon “exited the house with a shotgun and was repeatedly told by deputies to drop the weapon.”

“She focused on one deputy in particular and when she pointed the shotgun directly at him, he and his colleagues opened fire which neutralized the immediate threat,” the memo said.

Shoar also disclosed in his memo that he knew Andrea Sheldon.

“Mrs. Sheldon was the hospice nurse who assisted my father in his final days before his death in December 2011,” he wrote. “Mrs. Sheldon was in fact a wonderful caregiver in her role as a hospice nurse and our family became very close with her during those few days in December. All of that being said, if a citizen points a weapon at law enforcement officers and does not drop it after being told to do so, they run a very real risk of being killed.”

According to Richard Sheldon’s lawsuit, which cites information taken from the subsequent medical examiner’s report, Andrea Sheldon was shot at least eight times. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

After an investigation into the shooting by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Seventh Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office determined the deputies were justified in the use of deadly force.

Among the allegations in Richard Sheldon’s 11-count, 31-page complaint, his attorneys contend that deputies violated Andrea Sheldon’s civil rights by use of excessive force and were negligent in “unreasonably [creating] this situation where excessive force was used.” The attorneys also contend that St. Johns County, Shoar, and the Sheriff’s Office acted negligently and are liable for damages for, among other things, breaching “their duty as reasonably prudent employers of the Defendants” who “failed to announce their presence as law enforcement officers to Mrs. Sheldon” and failed to follow other protocols.

Reached for comment on Friday, SJCSO spokesman Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan said the Sheriff’s Office had received two letters of intent notifying them that a lawsuit was going to be filed, but officials could not comment further because they had not yet seen the details of the suit.

“We haven’t been served with the actual lawsuit yet,” Mulligan said.

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