You may have arrived here via a direct link to a specific post. To see the most recent posts, click HERE.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Board upholds firing of police officer in Baron Pikes taser case

September 13, 2008

The Winnfield Civil Service Board during its Thursday meeting upheld the firing of Winnfield Police Officer Scott Nugent, who is accused of killing a Winnfield man with a Taser.

Only one of the five members of the panel voted to reinstate Nugent to the police force, Civil Service Board Chairman Ronald Melton said. The dissenting member said Nugent's officer bill of rights was violated.

Nugent initially was suspended with pay after he allegedly shot Baron Pikes, 21, with a Taser stun gun nine times within 14 minutes, according to police records and Winn Parish Coroner Randy Williams. Pikes died in police custody.

The manner of Pikes' death was homicide, Williams said, and Nugent pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and malfeasance in office during an August arraignment.

Motions will be heard in the criminal case and a trial date set on Oct. 23.

Nugent was fired by Winnfield Police Chief Johnny Ray Carpenter after the suspension deadline passed. That firing was appealed to the civil service board but denied. The board's decision can be appealed as well.

Pikes' family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in August against not only Nugent but also the city of Winnfield, the mayor, City Council, police chief and other officers on the force, in addition to Taser International Inc. -- the manufacturer of the stun gun device Nugent used.

Calls to Nugent's attorney, Phillip Terrell, have gone unreturned. The Police Department declined to comment on the board's decision.

No comments: