Jury convicts officer in death of suicidal man

The Associated Press - November 5, 2019 1:24 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A jury has convicted an Oklahoma City police officer of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a man who was threatening to set himself on fire.

The jury on Monday found Sgt. Keith Sweeney guilty in the Nov. 15, 2017, death of 29-year-old Dustin Pigeon. Second-degree murder is punishable by 10 years to life in prison. The jury recommended a 10-year prison sentence. A judge will formally pass sentence at a date still to be set.

Sweeney was among officers responding to reports of a suicidal person and found Pigeon doused in lighter fluid and threatening to set himself on fire in a courtyard.

Prosecutors say Sweeney shot Pigeon after another officer fired a bean bag. An affidavit says Pigeon was unarmed and didn’t pose a threat. Two fellow officers also testified that Pigeon posed no threat.

Defense attorney Gary James has said Sweeney didn’t know Pigeon was unarmed.

 

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