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Judge sides with Ogden in shooting death

Jesse Turnbow
Jesse Turnbow

A federal judge has sided with Ogden police in an excessive-force lawsuit over a man who was shot 21 times in a confrontation with officers.

In a decision handed down Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell ruled in favor of three Ogden police officers who shot Jesse Turnbow to death during a confrontation in 2006.

"Because the evidence demonstrates the officers reasonably could have believed Mr. Turnbow posed a threat at the time they fired on him, Mr. Turnbow's constitutional rights were not violated," Campbell wrote.

Turnbow's girlfriend, Jacinda Scruggs, filed a $30 million lawsuit over his death on Dec. 18, 2006. Police said Turnbow, 29, was wielding a pistol-grip shotgun when he was confronted by officers Derek Draper, Ed Mahon and John Sattelmair at 35th Street and Jefferson Avenue. The police said Turnbow ignored repeated orders to drop the gun, and after being shot initially by officers, tried to shoot at them again.

Scruggs claimed the officers' action was excessive force, noting that more than 90 shots were fired at Turnbow, who was hit 21 times.

"Taken in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, the evidence shows that at the time the officers fired the final shots, Mr. Turnbow was moving, and his gun was within arm's reach," Campbell wrote.

Campbell granted summary judgment in favor of Ogden. The Weber County attorney previously had cleared the officers of any wrongdoing.

Scruggs' attorney, Michael Studebaker, told the Deseret News on Wednesday that he was considering an appeal of the judge's ruling.

"We're reviewing it," he said.

E-MAIL: bwinslow@desnews.com