11/23/2005

Calif. police cleared in TASER death

Herald Staff Report

Salinas police officers were cleared of criminal wrongdoing in connection with the February death of Robert Heston Jr., who died at a Salinas hospital a day after police shot him five times with increasingly controversial Taser stun guns.

The Monterey County District Attorney's Office, which had been investigating the matter for months, announced in a press release Tuesday that the office "has concluded the evidence does not support filing such charges."

The summary released by the District Attorney's Office cites Heston's prior drug use and the findings of three pathologists who agreed that Heston "had a defective heart probably caused by prior drug abuse.

"All pathologists agreed that the cause of death was methamphetamine intoxication.

"One pathologist also listed Taser applications as part of the cause of death," the report states. "The other two pathologists took issue with that conclusion, and found that Taser applications only contributed to the cause of death, but were not a primary cause. The Monterey County Coroner ruled Mr. Heston's death an accident."

Read the full account in Wednesday's Herald.

 Monterey County Herald (http://www.montereyherald.com/)

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