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Jury finds deputy not liable in Md. stun gun death

BALTIMORE - A federal jury in Baltimore has found a former Frederick County sheriff's deputy is not liable in a case stemming from a man's death after he was shocked twice with an electric stun gun.

The 10-member panel announced its verdict Wednesday.

The jury found that although former Cpl. Rudy Torres assaulted Jarrel Gray, Torres was shielded from liability because his actions were in defense of himself or others and that he only used the amount of force reasonably necessary to protect himself.

Torres had responded to a reported fight involving three young men in November 2007.

He testified that he shocked Gray once after Gray ignored commands to get down and show his hands. He delivered he second jolt after Gray fell face-first and didn't respond to further commands to show his hands.

According to CBS station WJZ in Baltimore, Md., the deceased was deaf in one ear and hearing-impaired in the other. Investigators determined he was not wearing his hearing aid that night.

Gray's parents, Jeffrey Gray and Tanya Thomas, were seeking $145 million in damages for what they claim was a wrongful death caused by Torres' use of excessive force. While the attorney for the prosecution called the use of the stun gun "sadistic," a defense attorney claimed Torres didn't know Grey was unarmed and used the weapon as he was trained to do.

WJZ said the jury did not reward any damages to the victim's family, and they were visibly upset when they heard the verdict.

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