LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The widow of an 80-year-old man fatally shot by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies filed a lawsuit Friday against the county, Sheriff Lee Baca and several deputies.
The 22-page complaint was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Tonya Pate, 48, who claims the shooting of her husband Eugene Mallory the morning of June 27 was unlawful. According to the complaint, a deputy obtained false information from a secret informant who had a "personal vendetta" against Mallory and Pete.
Deputies alleged Mallory was operating a meth lab in the couple's Littlerock home, according to published reports. But the lawsuit claims no drug operation existed there and that deputies fatally shot Mallory while he was in bed and posed no threat to them.
Pate's attorney says no meth-related chemicals were ever found in the home, but the Sheriff's Department alleged a marijuana-growing operation was on the property, according to reports.
Deputies deny Mallory was in bed when he was shot.
"The truth of the matter is a gentleman pointed a semi-automatic weapon at our deputies," LASD spokesman Steve Whitmore said previously.
The suit alleges Baca and the supervisors of the deputies involved failed to both hire competent employees and train them correctly.
The coroner disposed of Mallory's body without the consent of his widow, according to the suit, which asks for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
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